Bustin' Broncos!

Chargers Take Over First Place With 32-3 Win In Denver

By Artie Ojeda
|  Sunday, Nov 22, 2009  |  Updated 7:25 PM PDT
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Running back Darren Sproles #43 of the San Diego Chargers runs with the ball

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Philip Rivers passed for 145 yards and one touchdown, and the Chargers defense stymied the once high-flying Denver Broncos, as the Bolts beat the Broncos 32-3 to take over sole possession of first place in the AFC West. The Chargers resurgent running game tallied 203-yards in the romp.

What a difference a month makes. After losing to Denver at Qualcomm Stadium on Oct. 19,  the Chargers were 3 1/2 games behind Denver and going in the wrong direction. Since then, the Chargers have won five in a row, while Denver has lost five in a row to fall behind the Bolts in the AFC west.

Sunday, the Chargers stingy defense got them off to a strong start. After recovering a fumble on Denver's first possession, Rivers hit Legedu Naanee on a two-yard touchdown strike to give the Bolts a 7-0 lead. The Chargers would never look back.

In control throughout the first half, the Chargers took a 13-0 lead into the halftime break on the strength of two Nate Kaeding field goals. Kaeding connected on four field goals for the game.

Showing frustration with their team's recent misfortunes, fans at Invesco Field in Denver booed starting quarterback Chris Simms. Simms started the game for injured Kyle Orton. So inept was Simms, Orton was inserted to the game despite having a hobbled ankle. It didn't help.

Denver opened the scoring in the second half with a field goal, but the Broncos never posed much of a threat thereafter.

An invigorated LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 73-yards, including a one-yard touchdown run. Mike Tolbert added a late touchdown to seal the win.

About the only thing that went wrong for the Chargers was news on the injury report. Luis Castillo and offensive lineman Jeromy Clary left the game with injuries.

The Chargers will look to continue their winning way next Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium.

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