Rivers, Chargers, ease some pain by beating Broncos 21-13

Every pass he threw was short or intermediate at best and the Chargers figured out quickly that deep down the field wasn't something they needed to worry about on Thursday night.

Offensively, they did not convert their final 10 third-down attempts. Chuck in 12 penalties, including a holding penalty in the end zone that gave the Chargers a fourth-quarter safety, and you have a slightly wobbly team that has lost some of its edge. Von Miller, who has sacked Rivers more times than he has sacked any other quarterback, was limited to one. They muffed a fair catch on a safety punt return. Not until a failed Hail Mary as time expired was a once 18-point, fourth-quarter lead secured.

The Broncos now have the worst first-quarter point differential in the NFL.

San Diego (2-4) snapped a three-game losing streak and broke their 10-game skid against AFC West teams while the Broncos (4-2) dropped their second straight contest as they struggled offensively throughout the game.

Doing so would end another drought.

With 10 games left, it will be interesting to see what kind of numbers the former Buckeye can put up this season. It has gone 0-6 in that span on the week following a win.

Thursday, Trevor Siemian was back behind center after missing a game and half because of a left shoulder injury. "It's about winning. It's not always going to be pretty".

"We're sitting here 3-2 right now, we're going, 'Hey, we win this game over Denver, we're tied for the top nearly, '" Rivers said.

Mindfully, Rivers secured the football when he felt pressure on a 14-yard sack and was gang-tackled to the ground.

Kubiak was transported by ambulance to a hospital after Denver's loss to the Falcons on Sunday. 11 days to look themselves in the mirror and figure out what went wrong the last two weeks. It got to the San Diego 45 with eight seconds to go before Siemian's desperation pass was batted down by Dexter McCoil.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was a full participant in practice Thursday, another indicator the league's reigning MVP likely will play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. This could be the new look Broncos going forward, a awful offensive line leads to a stagnant offense in nearly any case in the NFL. Wide receiver Julio Jones ranks third in receiving.

And the Denver defense, the unit that had bailed the team out so many times since the start of the 2015 season, does not have the same swagger.

"This one was definitely special", Rivers said after the win. "And if they would have called those five back I would have continued to try and make plays". It's not pretty. It's not ideal. We watched him throw during warmups and I thought he threw the ball well. It's been so long since we won a division game. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2012 and then was the top offensive lineman on the Seahawks Super Bowl winning team in 2013.

"We've been in this situation before", DeCamillis said. But hopefully this can kick start a run.

"We can't get behind early, so that we can run the ball like we want to", Stephenson said.

In whatever way they can.

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