Final

Chargers 41

(2-3, 1-2 away)

Broncos 3

(2-3, 1-2 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, October 7, 2007

Invesco Field, Denver, CO 

1 2 3 4 T
SD 14 6 14 741
DEN 0 3 0 03

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 270 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: M. Turner (SD) - 10 CAR, 147 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: A. Gates (SD) - 7 REC, 113 YDS, 1 TD

Chargers hand Broncos most lopsided home loss since '66

Associated Press

DENVER (AP) -- The San Diego Chargers figured the formula for turning their season around included holding onto the ball and getting a tide-turning takeaway on special teams.

They did all that and much more in handing the Denver Broncos their worst home loss since 1966 with a 41-3 drubbing fueled by reigning MVP LaDainian Tomlinson and his trusty backup, Michael Turner.

Bucking The Broncos
Denver Broncos

From their 15-14 season-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills to Sunday's 41-3 loss to the San Diego Chargers, the Denver Broncos defense has steadily gone downhill from week to week.

Opp Pts allowed Total yds allowed
Bills 14 184
Raiders 20 253
Jaguars 23 326
Colts 38 419
Chargers 41 484

L.T. amassed 140 yards, including 73 on three receptions, and Turner added 147 yards on 10 carries, highlighted by a 74-yard touchdown trot along the Broncos' bewildered sideline in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Philip Rivers even got into the act with the first rushing touchdown of his career. His 2-yard run on a naked bootleg was followed 11 seconds later by San Diego's second score.

Brian Clark, re-signed last week after the Broncos gave up on kick returner Domenik Hixon, failed to follow his blockers and fumbled on a hard hit by Carlos Polk following Rivers' TD. Brandon Siler snared the ball in the air and sprinted to the end zone, punching it past the left pylon for a quick 14-0 lead.

"It was big," Tomlinson said. "It definitely gained some confidence and momentum for us. Something we definitely needed. We had talked about it last night, possibly hoping to get a turnover on special teams. But we did better than that; we got a touchdown.

"So that got us off on a good start. I think they never recovered."

Chargers coach Norv Turner, heavily criticized during his 1-3 start with basically the same team that went 14-2 under Marty Schottenheimer last season, said Tomlinson's 36-yard gain on a screen pass after two rushes netted minus-2 yards on the Chargers' first drive loosened up his tight team, as did Rivers' TD run.

"Then, the big hit on the kickoff return, we score bang-bang. You can feel our guys' confidence come back," Turner said. "We have more work to do, but we made progress."

And the Broncos (2-3), losers of three straight, slipped further into a funk that threatens to spoil their season. The fans braved the cold and windy weather at Invesco Field, but could not deal with Denver's dismal defense, emptying out before the fourth quarter had begun.

One week after committing four turnovers, the Chargers (2-3) had none in ending their three-game skid by winning consecutive games in Denver for the first time since 1967-68.

Scouts Buzz
The Chargers jumped all over the Broncos early in the game, and Denver couldn't recover. Denver continues to be terrible when playing from behind because its defense can't stop and get off the field. San Diego had 214 yards rushing, including 147 by backup Michael Turner. Denver was manhandled at the point of attack, and its linebackers consistently were out of position. San Diego used its patented cut-back runs against an over-pursuing Denver unit that does not recover well when it is out of position. Denver is going to continue having trouble stopping the run if it doesn't play with more discipline, better gap integrity and more control on the second level. San Diego didn't do anything special running the ball. Instead, it was more of the same old mistakes by an undisciplined Denver front seven.
-- Jeremy Green, Scouts Inc.
Complete Week 5 Scouts Buzz

They handed the Broncos their worst home loss since the Kansas City Chiefs' 56-10 thumping on Oct. 23, 1966.

"I don't know if I've ever been more embarrassed," Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. "I don't think our players have ever been more embarrassed to put on that type of show."

Rivers, who had nine turnovers coming in, played keepaway, throwing for 270 yards and two touchdowns on 13-of-18 passing for a nearly perfect quarterback rating of 151.4.

The Chargers amassed 484 yards of offense and limited Denver to one field goal on 11 drives.

"Whatever the Chargers did, it worked. Whatever we did, didn't," Dre Bly said. "I've never been a part of something like this where everything we did went against us, and not for us. They ran the ball, threw the ball, played defense, they played special teams. They won all four phases. We didn't win any."

Broncos troubled tailback Travis Henry, the NFL's leading rusher whose future is in legal limbo while he fights the league over a drug test result, gained 65 yards on 16 carries despite right knee and ankle injuries.

Nate Kaeding's 26-yard field goal made it 17-0 one play after Broncos perennial Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey strained his left quadriceps while covering tight end Antonio Gates.

"I don't feel good," said Bailey, who was clearly concerned he might miss some time, as was Shanahan.

The bye might come at a good time for Denver -- quarterback Jay Cutler didn't have his top receiver, Javon Walker (knee), who missed his second straight game, and he lost receiver Brandon Stokley (head) and tight end Nate Jackson (groin) Sunday.

Cutler failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time in his 10 NFL starts. His streak had been the longest to start a career since Mark Rypien tossed TD passes in his first 11 games for Washington in the late 1980s.

The Chargers led 20-3 at the half. Gates, who caught seven passes for 113 yards, made it 27-3 with a 9-yard catch.

Vincent Jackson, who gained 45 yards on a pass on second-and-33 in the drive, added a 15-yard TD grab that sent the chilled crowds to the exits.

"I don't blame them at all," Stokley said. "I wouldn't have stayed around to watch that."

Brandon Marshall wasn't so kind.

"Don't boo us when we're down," he pleaded. "That's bandwagon. ... I love you all to death, but at the same time, that's not first class."

Game notes


Broncos C Tom Nalen injured his right elbow and said he'll learn the extent of the injury Monday. ... This was just the third time in Shanahan's 13 seasons in Denver that the Broncos failed to score a touchdown.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SD
DEN
1st Downs2017
Passing 1st downs
1211
Rushing 1st downs
74
1st downs from penalties
12
3rd down efficiency
6-106-13
4th down efficiency
0-00-3
Total Plays5557
Total Yards484296
Yards per play8.85.2
Total Drives119
Passing270224
Comp-Att
13-1823-36
Yards per pass
15.06.1
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks-Yards Lost
0-01-8
Rushing21472
Rushing Attempts
3720
Yards per rush
5.83.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-50-2
Penalties6-453-18
Turnovers03
Fumbles lost
02
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs10
Possession32:5327:07

Passing Leaders

SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers13/1827015.0200-0
DENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Cutler23/362326.4011-8

Rushing Leaders

SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Turner1014714.7174
Tomlinson21673.2011
DENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Henry16654.1015
Cutler372.305

Receiving Leaders

SDRECYDSAVGTDLG
Gates711316.1134
Jackson38428.0145
DENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Marshall77210.3026
Martinez67011.7023

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSDDEN
sdTD6:34Philip Rivers, 2 yd run (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 4:14
70
sdTD6:26Brandon Siler, 23 yd fumble return (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 4:14
140
SECOND QUARTERSDDEN
sdFG11:26Nate Kaeding 26 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 83 yds, 6:57
170
denFG1:19Jason Elam 30 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 45 yds, 5:13
173
sdFG0:02Nate Kaeding 45 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 52 yds, 1:15
203
THIRD QUARTERSDDEN
sdTD9:27Antonio Gates, 9 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 73 yds, 5:40
273
sdTD0:14Vincent Jackson, 15 yd pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 10 plays, 79 yds, 6:09
343
FOURTH QUARTERSDDEN
sdTD9:56Michael Turner, 74 yd run (Nate Kaeding kick is good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 86 yds, 0:44
413