The Chargers remain in the AFC West cellar at 3-9. The Chargers are 0-5 against the AFC West dating back to last season, and have been outscored 87-33 by AFC West teams at Qualcomm Stadium this year.
The Broncos improved to 10-2, three games ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) in the AFC West.
The Chargers were held without a touchdown at Qualcomm Stadium for a second straight home game. The defense allowed the Broncos to roll up 134 rushing yards.
And offensively the Chargers caught the turnover bug once again, with Philip Rivers throwing his fifth interception returned for a score when linebacker Danny Trevathan took one back 25 yards for a touchdown.
Rookie running back Melvin Gordon also fumbled twice -- he now has six fumbles this season, losing four of them.
What were they thinking? Late in the first half with his team trailing 17-3, Eric Weddle baited Brock Osweiler into a bad throw. But Weddle dropped what would have been his first interception of the season. Weddle had plenty of green grass in front of him in what could have been a momentum-changing play for the Chargers.
One reason to panic: The Chargers look ill-equipped to compete in the AFC West. Since 2014, the Chargers are 2-7 in the division. The Chargers haven’t won a game in the division in more than a year, defeating the Oakland Raiders, 13-6, on Nov. 16, 2014, at Qualcomm.
Fantasy watch: Rivers finished 18-of-35 for 202 yards and an interception. He was sacked four times, posting a 57.1 passer rating. It’s the second straight home game Rivers was held without a touchdown pass.
Ouch: With 5:03 left in the opening quarter, San Diego receiver Dontrelle Inman made an 8-yard catch on an in route and suffered a neck injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Denver safety David Bruton Jr. Inman had to be placed on a backboard and was taken off of the field on a cart, but he was seen moving his arms and legs before he left the field. Cornerback Brandon Flowers suffered a knee injury in the first half. He was replaced by Steve Williams. Right tackle Joe Barksdale suffered a back injury in the first half. He was replaced in the lineup by undrafted rookie Tyreek Burwell. Barksdale later returned to the game.