SAN DIEGO - NOVEMBER 22: Mike Tolbert #35 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates after a 29-yard pass against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium on November 22 2010 in San Diego California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Tonight the San Diego Chargers won by three scores and it wasn't even that close. After a brilliant opening drive by the Denver Broncos capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run by Knowshon Moreno, the Chargers offense went 3 and out. Things looked grim, but San Diego, led by four touchdown passes from Philip Rivers, would score the next 35 points before allowing a meaningless touchdown pass by Kyle Orton to Brandon Lloyd with less than 9 minutes left in the game.
Mike Tolbert ran for over 100 yards on 25 carries as Norv Turner called run after run from the middle of the 3rd quarter on icing the game and driving Zach Rosen insane. Tolbert had a very solid game aside from a terrible fumble that the Chargers luckily recovered. Charger fans should be willing to overlook that since he also caught a 28 yard pass from punter Mike Scifres on 4th and 14, a play that really swung momentum San Diego's way early in this game.
Patrick Crayton had two huge catch and runs. On the first, he went for 49 yards the last 10 of which he spent abusing Reynaldo Hill with a tremendous stiff arm. On the second, he took a short pass 40 yards to the end zone where he injured his left wrist when he landed awkwardly. He finished with 105 yards despite spending the 2nd half on the sideline in a sling.
The real story of the game, though, was the Chargers defense led by three sacks by Shaun Phillips who held a prolific Denver passing offense to 7 points through the game's first 51 minutes before becoming content to just let time run off the clock by allowing Denver to repeatedly connect on short underneath routes.
The end result is that San Diego moves into a tie for second place in the AFC West with Oakland at 5-5 and Denver is all but eliminated at 3-7 and all alone in last place. Charger fans will be and should be happy about this win, but they should also remember that Denver is a lousy football team and San Diego will face a very good Indianapolis Colts team next week on the road.