- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - It’s hard to see how the San Diego Chargers can get any worse.

Then again, there are four more games to play in a season that’s been as miserable for the fans as it has the players.

Brock Osweiler threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the game’s opening drive and Danny Trevathan intercepted Philip Rivers and returned it 25 yards for a score to lead the Denver Broncos to a 17-3 victory Sunday.

San Diego fell to 3-9 with its fifth straight home loss and its fifth straight loss against division foes. It was the Chargers’ second consecutive home game without a touchdown - they lost to AFC West rival Kansas City 33-3 on Nov. 22. It’s been more than a year since they’ve beaten a division foe.

And, as has been the norm for the last several years - even more so this year - there were thousands of fans of the visiting team at aging Qualcomm Stadium, which may have hosted its penultimate Chargers game.

“We’ve gotten used to it, unfortunately, and us not winning doesn’t help,” a resigned Rivers said. “That is a bad combination.”

Chargers chairman Dean Spanos wants to move to an industrial suburb of Los Angeles, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week warned San Diego that it had until the end of the month to come up with a solid plan for a new stadium.

The Chargers walked away from stadium talks in mid-June.

Many fans are angry at Spanos’ seeming indifference to their years of loyalty. Many have no problem selling their tickets to big games to opposing fans.

How easy was it for the Broncos, playing in front of thousands of orange-clad fans?

“No one blinked with this being a road game,” Osweiler said.

Osweiler was 16 of 26 for 166 yards as he moved to 3-0 since he took over for injured Peyton Manning. The Broncos improved to 10-2 and are closing in on their fifth straight AFC West crown.

With about 5 minutes left, Broncos fans cheered a scoreboard update showing Philadelphia leading New England. The Patriots lost, and the Broncos can clinch the AFC’s No. 1 seed if they win out. Osweiler helped lead the Broncos to a 30-24 overtime victory against New England last Sunday night.

The Broncos had no trouble moving 76 yards in eight plays on the opening drive, including a 22-yard run by C.J. Anderson and a 21-yard pass to Thomas. Osweiler then found Thomas wide open in the end zone for the score.

On San Diego’s third possession, Rivers was hit and the ball went straight to Trevathan. He rumbled in to make it 14-0. It was his first NFL score and the fifth defensive touchdown for the Broncos this season. He later left with a concussion.

It was Rivers’ fifth pick-six of the year. Rivers was 18 of 35 for 202 yards and was sacked four times. It was his second-lowest yardage of the season.

The Broncos pushed it to 17-0 on Brandon McManus’ 23-yard field goal late in the second quarter.

San Diego rookie Josh Lambo kicked a 51-yard field goal just before halftime to avoid a shutout. He missed a 48-yarder in the first quarter.

Chargers receiver Dontrelle Inman suffered a scary injury in the first quarter. He was immobilized on a backboard and taken off the field on a cart after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Denver safety David Bruton Jr.

Inman was hit after making a 15-yard catch for a first down.

Inman was evaluated for a neck injury with encouraging results. He was able to move his hands and feet, the team said.

A few plays later, cornerback Brandon Flowers was hurt. He too was taken off the field on a cart with a knee injury.

Running back Melvin Gordon, the Chargers’ first-round draft pick, lost another fumble and was benched. He has lost four of his five fumbles and has yet to score a touchdown.

NOTES: The Chargers reluctantly confirmed reports they extended general manager Tom Telesco’s contract during the summer. The team didn’t say why it tried to keep the news quiet. … Coach Mike McCoy, 21-23 in three seasons, said he has not been offered an extension.

___

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide