Osweiler, Trevathan lead Broncos to 17-3 win against Bolts
Brock Osweiler and the Denver Broncos felt right at home in San Diego from the minute they came out for pregame warmups and saw all the orange-clad fans.
Then they got a remarkably easy victory against the hapless San Diego Chargers.
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 Broncos to a 17-3 victory.
"Oh my gosh it was unbelievable how much orange," said Osweiler, who was 16 of 26 for 166 yards as he moved to 3-0 since he took over for the injured Peyton Manning. "They have no idea how much that means to us.
"No one blinked with this being a road game."
The Broncos improved to 10-2 as they close in on their fifth straight AFC West crown.
Here are some things that stood out in the Broncos' win against the Chargers:
PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS: With about five minutes left, Broncos fans cheered a scoreboard update showing Philadelphia leading New England. The Patriots lost, leaving the Broncos in position to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs if they win out.
Osweiler helped lead the Broncos to a 30-24 overtime victory against New England last Sunday night. The Broncos host Cincinnati (10-2) on Dec. 28.
"When the defense was on the field, it was loud," Thomas said about the crowd. "I was not used to that. It was good for us."
STAGGERING CHARGERS: San Diego fell to 3-9, taking its fifth straight home loss and its fifth straight 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.
This isn't the first time the Chargers have felt like the road team in their own stadium.
"We've gotten used to it, unfortunately, and us not winning doesn't help," said a resigned Rivers. "That is a bad combination."
NEARING THE END? This might have been the penultimate Chargers game in San Diego. 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.
FAST START: 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.
"We got a quick start, a quick score," Osweiler said. "We slowed down a little bit throughout the game. We did what we had to do to stay in it."
The opening drive "was our best, running and throwing," Thomas said. "That is how we want it to be every week. We still have things to work on. If we can do that more often, it will be big for our offense."
Thomas was coming off the worst game of his career, when he caught just one of 13 passes thrown his way.
PICK-6: 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.
"It was not a great throw," Rivers said. "Just a bad play all the way around."