Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Chargers buck Denver, 35-14

The Chargers look poised for another improbable run to an AFC West in 2010.  After getting off to an abysmal 2-5 start, the Chargers won their third in a row Monday night, beating up on the Denver Broncos, 35-14.

The game didn't start off so well for San Diego, as Denver went down the field, in a very efficient drive, going 69 yards, on 6 plays.  Knowshon Moreno punched in the score from 4 yards out, and the Chargers were down 7 early.

Philip Rivers, as he has done all season, put the Chargers on his back, and lead the way.  After punting on their first possession, Rivers lead the Chargers back for the equalizer, connecting with Malcolm Floyd on a 6 yard score.  The drive was extended by a brilliant fake punt call, in which punter Mike Scifres hit Mike Tolbert on a 28 yard pass.

The Chargers scored again late in the second as Mike Tolbert punched in a 1 yard touchdown to give the Chargers a lead they wouldn't relinquish.  The key play on the drive was Rivers hooking up with Patrick Crayton on a 49 yard reception.  Crayton finished up with 105 yards on 3 receptions.  He left the game with an apparent hand injury.

The matchup was billed as a potential shootout, as both Kyle Orton and Philip Rivers are among the leaders in passing yards, although the Chargers did a great job of bottling up the potent Denver passing game.

Orton finished up 24-38, with 217 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  The touchdown pass came with the Chargers ahead 35-7.  The Chargers applied lots of pressure on Orton, sacking him 5 times, including 2 by Shaun Phillips.  The Chargers for maybe the first time all season, did not have a breakdown on special teams, and had just one turnover.

Rivers finished up 15-24, with 233 and 4 TD's.  The 233 yards were a season-low, and he also was picked off once by Champ Bailey.

Mike Tolbert paced the running game with a career-high 111 yards on 25 carries.

The Chargers even their record at 5-5, and travel to Indianapolis next Sunday night.

  • Notes:  Rookie DT, Cam Thomas, and 2nd year DE Vaughn Martin each had their first career sacks in the game. 
  • Shaun Phillips had 2 sacks, giving him 9 for the season, which ties him for 3rd in the NFL.
  • Before the game, the Chargers activated TE Kory Sperry, and RB Curtis Brinkley, while releasing LB's Brandon Lang and David Herron. 

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