SAN DIEGO -- Breaking down San Diego's 35-14 win against Denver:
What it means: The San Diego Chargers are in the playoff conversation. San Diego has won three straight games and looks like a playoff team. The Chargers are 5-5 and a game behind first-place Kansas City in the division. The Chargers host both Oakland (5-5) and Kansas City in the coming weeks. Denver crashed back to earth after beating up Kansas City 49-29 last week. Denver is 3-7 and likely out of the AFC West chase.
Tomorrow’s talker: In the battle between two quarterbacks on pace for big yardage (Philip Rivers entered the game on pace for an NFL-record 5,233 yards and Kyle Orton was on pace for 4,988 yards), Rivers was the star. San Diego fans chanted “MVP” for the player who could be on his way to securing the hardware. Rivers had another big night even without tight end Antonio Gates, receiver Legedu Naanee and running back Ryan Mathews.
Trending: The one thing Denver had going for it was a fast start. Denver ripped down the field for 69 yards on six plays to take a 7-0 lead on the opening drive. The Broncos have scored 28 points in the past two first quarters after scoring a total of seven points in the first quarter of their first eight games. Denver coach Josh McDaniels has scripted plays to start the game the past two weeks after not scripting plays to start the season.
What’s next: San Diego plays a big game at Indianapolis on Sunday night in which Vincent Jackson is set to make his season debut after holding out and then serving three games on a roster exemption list. Denver hosts St. Louis.