SAN DIEGO -- Down a field goal midway through the third quarter, the San Diego Chargers needed a wake-up call.
Scatback Danny Woodhead came to the rescue, leaking out of the backfield late and taking a Philip Rivers pass 61 yards to the Cleveland Browns' 19-yard line.
Rivers connected with tight end Ladarius Green a play later for the score, giving the Chargers a 20-16 lead.
The Browns fought back to tie the game at 27, but Woodhead totaled 28 rushing yards on San Diego’s final drive, putting Chargers in position for rookie Josh Lambo's 34-yard field goal as time expired for a 30-27 win at Qualcomm Stadium.
Woodhead finished with four receptions for 84 yards and 138 total yards from scrimmage.
The Chargers moved back to 2-2, tied for second in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders, 22-20 losers to the Chicago Bears on the road.
The Denver Broncos lead the AFC West at 4-0 with a 23-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and the Kansas City Chiefs fell to 1-3 after a 36-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
What were they thinking? With three of five starters out on the offensive line, the Chargers still couldn’t get the running game going, averaging 4.3 yards a rush on 21 carries for a total of 91 rushing yards.
One reason to get excited: Rivers’ security blanket, tight end Antonio Gates, returns next week after serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
One reason to panic: The Chargers allowed Browns quarterback Josh McCown to throw for 356 passing yards. Cleveland running backs Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell finished with a total of 241 yards from scrimmage. San Diego’s defense has to figure out a way to tackle better.
Fantasy watch: Keenan Allen continued his impressive production through the first quarter of the season, finishing with three receptions for 64 yards, including a 28-yard reception for a score.
Ouch: Receiver Malcom Floyd suffered a concussion in the first half and did not return. Safety Adrian Phillips suffered a hand injury at end of the first half. Receiver Stevie Johnson suffered a hamstring injury and did not return. Cornerback Brandon Flowers suffered a concussion in the second half and did not return.