Philip Rivers bailed the Chargers out of trouble with several third-down throws and hit Antonio Gates for a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, lifting San Diego to a 20-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys that continued December trends for both clubs.
San Diego (10-3) won its eighth straight and moved to the verge of a playoff berth. The Denver Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts 28-16 earlier Sunday morning, extending the Chargers lead to two games in the AFC West.
The Bolts also won their 16th straight in December, all with Rivers -- and the last 11 under coach Norv Turner, whom Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided not to hire last time his head coaching job was available. He hired Wade Phillips instead, and hasn't gotten his money's worth in December: 3-8 after this loss, which is the second straight for Dallas (8-5).