In the end, the Pro Bowl QB threw for four touchdowns, as the Chargers beat up their division rivals 35-14 to stay in contention in the AFC West.
Rivers went 15-of-24 for 233 yards and one interception while Mike Tolbert added 25 carries for 111 yards and a score for the Chargers (5-5), who moved back to .500 with a three-game winning streak.
“We have a bunch of resilient, tough guys on this team that never flinch, never blink,” said Rivers. “This is a pretty good win we put together today. In all three phases of the game, we played great tonight.”
The win puts the Chargers into second in the division with the Raiders, one game back of the Chiefs for first.
“That was the most complete game we’ve had this season,” said head coach Norv Turner. “But we don’t have any time to rest. We have a short week and we have to get ready to start on Wednesday and travel on Friday. We have to keep the momentum we have going here.”
Patrick Crayton had three catches for 105 yards and a score, but left the game after his touchdown with an injured left wrist. Darren Sproles added five catches for 60 yards with a touchdown.
Kyle Orton was 24-for-38 with 217 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Broncos (3-7), who started fast with a six play drive for a score, but never got back that momentum as they continued to flounder at the bottom of the division.
Knowshon Moreno had 13 carries for 58 yards and a score while Brandon Lloyd finished with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in the loss, as Denver fell to 1-4 on the road this season.
“We don’t have any crystal ball and can’t predict what anybody else is going to do,” said Denver head coach Josh McDaniels. “There is still a lot of football left to play and we can control what we do.”
The Chargers have another big showdown on Sunday night, as they take the Colts on the road in a game they need to have to keep pace in the West.