Osweiler, Trevathan lead Broncos to 17-3 win against Bolts

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SAN DIEGO (AP) -- 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.

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.

RANKING THE BEST AND WORST NFL STADIUMS:

32 PHOTOS
NFL Stadiums
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Osweiler, Trevathan lead Broncos to 17-3 win against Bolts

31. Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Chargers

(David Drapkin/AP images for USAA)

30. O.co Coliseum, Oakland Raiders

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

29. Sun Life Stadium, Miami Dolphins

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

28. Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo Bills

(AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

27. Bank of America Stadium, Carolina Panthers

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

26. FedExField, Washington Redskins

 (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)

25. LA Coliseum, St. Louis Rams

(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

24. FirstEnergy Stadium, Cleveland Browns

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

23. Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans Saints

(Kevin Terrell/AP Images for USAA)

22. Ford Field, Detroit Lions

 (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

21. Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia Eagles

(AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

20. Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

19. Nissan Stadium, Tennessee Titans

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

18. Georgia Dome, Atlanta Falcons

(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson )

17. Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati Bengals

 (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)

16. EverBank Field, Jacksonville Jaguars

(AP Photo/Stephen Morton)

15. MetLife Stadium, New York Giants/New York Jets

(AP Photo/Matt York, File)

14. Sports Authority Field at Mile High, Denver Broncos

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

13. University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona Cardinals

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

12. NRG Stadium, Houston Texans

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

11. Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City Chiefs

(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

10. Gillette Stadium, New England Patriots

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

9. M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore Ravens

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

8. Soldier Field, Chicago Bears

(AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

7. Heinz Field, Pittsburgh Steelers

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

6. Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Colts

 (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

5. Levi's Stadium, San Francisco 49ers

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

4. U.S. Bank Stadium, Minnesota Vikings

(AP) 

3. AT&T Stadium, Dallas Cowboys

(AP Photo/Roger Steinman)

2. CenturyLink Field, Seattle Seahawks

(AP Photo/Scott Eklund)

1. Lambeau Field, Green Bay Packers

(Mike McGinnis/AP Images for Panini)

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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."

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."

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.

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.

REVEALING THE RICHEST PLAYER ON EVERY NFL TEAM:

33 PHOTOS
Highest paid player on every NFL team 2015
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Osweiler, Trevathan lead Broncos to 17-3 win against Bolts

32. Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns — $9,000,000

Position: Left tackle

2015 earnings breakdown: $8.8 million salary, $200,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Thomas has started every game of his 9-year NFL career.

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

31. TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts — $11,000,000

Position: Wide Receiver

2015 earnings breakdown: $10.0 million signing bonus, $1.0 million salary.

One thing to know: Hilton's spot on this list will be short-lived as quarterback Andrew Luck is due for a new contract that will likely challenge the all-time records.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

30. Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals — $11,719,114

Position: Cornerback

2015 earnings breakdown: $11.6 million salary, $100,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Peterson's $70.1 million contract is nearly identical to the one signed by Darrelle Revis with the Jets.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

29. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers — $12,800,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $10.4 million salary, $2.0 million roster bonus, $400,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Colin Kaepernick's $114 million contract was never as good as it sounded and chances are he will never see the end of it.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

26t. DeAndre Levy, Detroit Lions — $13,000,000

Position: Linebacker

2015 earnings breakdown: $12.0 million signing bonus, $1.0 million salary.

One thing to know: Levy's $33.8 million contract is a distant fourth when ranking the total value of contracts for Lions players, but he has the benefit of a signing bonus this year. Over the next four years, his salary is a more reasonable $5-7 million per year.

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

26t. Justin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs — $13,000,000

Position: Linebacker

2015 earnings breakdown: $12.0 million signing bonus, $1.0 million salary

One thing to know: Houston's 6-year, $101 million is $35 million bigger than any other linebacker's contract, but $8.5 million of his $20.5 million signing bonus was deferred until next year.

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

26t. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings — $13,000,000

Position: Running Back

2015 earnings breakdown: $11.0 million salary, $2.0 million roster bonus.

One thing to know: After missing nearly the entire 2014 season, Peterson is back and already leading the NFL in rushing through the first four weeks. His 3-year, $42 million contract did not come with a signing bonus, so it is basically a year-to-year deal.

(Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

24t. Byron Maxwell, Philadelphia Eagles — $13,500,000

Position: Cornerback

2015 earnings breakdown: $6.5 million roster bonus, $6.0 million signing bonus, $1.0 million salary.

One thing to know: His 6-year, $63 million is fourth among cornerbacks in terms of total value.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

24t. Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay Bucs — $13,500,000

Position: Defensive Tackle

2015 earnings breakdown: $6.5 million roster bonus, $5.0 million salary, $2.0 million option bonus.

(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

23. Jimmy Smith, Baltimore Ravens — $14,000,000

Position: Cornerback

2015 earnings breakdown: $13.0 million signing bonus, $1.0 million salary

One thing to know: Smith's contract is a distant second on the Ravens in terms of total value, behind quarterback Joe Flacco, but Flacco will only make $8.8 million this year.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

22. Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots — $15,000,000

Position: Tight End

2015 earnings breakdown: $10.0 million signing bonus, $4.75 million salary, $250,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: With the Patriots locking up Gronkowski to a 6-year, $54 million contract in 2012, they got one of the best steals in the NFL. Gronk will have salaries of $2.25 million and $4.25 million the next two years.

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

22t. Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos — $15,000,000

Position: Quarterback and Wide Receiver

2015 earnings breakdown: Manning: $15 million salary; Thomas: $6.5 million roster bonus, $4.5 million salary, $4.0 million signing bonus.

One thing to know: Manning can also earn a $2 million bonus if the Broncos reach the Super Bowl and another $2 million if they win. Thomas recently signed a 5-year, $70 million contract with exactly half of that ($35 million) fully guaranteed.

(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

20t. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers — $15,100,000

Position: Wide Receiver

2015 earnings breakdown: $13.0 million signing bonus, $1.2 million salary, $500,000 roster bonus, $400,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Randall Cobb signed a 4-year, 40.0 million extension this off-season.

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

20t. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars — $15,100,000

Position: Tight End

2015 earnings breakdown: $6.0 million signing bonus, $9.0 million salary, $100,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Thomas signed a 5-year, $46.0 million contract with the Jags as a free agent this summer, but has yet to play in a game because of a hand injury.

(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

19. Amari Cooper, Oakland Raiders — $15,177,266

Position: Wide Receiver

2015 earnings breakdown: $14.7 million signing bonus, $435,000 salary.

One thing to know: Amari Cooper is already looking like he is ready to be the next great wide receiver in the NFL.

(Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

17. Robert Quinn, St. Louis Rams — $15,788,756

Position: Defensive End

2015 earnings breakdown: $10.2 million roster bonus, $5.6 million salary.

One thing to know: After recording 19 sacks in 2013, Quinn signed a 4-year, $57.0 million extension. He had 10.5 sacks in 2014.

(Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

16. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets — $16,000,000

Position: Cornerback

2015 earnings breakdown: $16.0 million salary.

One thing to know: No player has gambled on himself more than Revis, and it keeps paying off, turning a nonguaranteed contract into $68 million.

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

15. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans — $16,305,164

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $15.9 million signing bonus, $435,000 salary.

One thing to know: Mariota is actually the highest-paid rookie this year, as top pick Jameis Winston had 35% of his $17.0 million signing bonus deferred until 2016.

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

14. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys — $17,000,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $16.0 million restructure bonus, $1.0 million salary.

One thing to know: Romo's 6-year, $108 million contract originally called for a $17 million salary this season. By turning $16 million of that into a bonus, the Cowboys are able to spread the impact to the salary cap over several years. The downside is that he will count $21 million against the cap next season despite just an $8.5 million salary, so another restructuring will likely be done.

(Photo by Mike Stone/Getty Images)

13. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints — $19,000,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $18.75 million salary, $250,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Drew Brees is now in Year 4 of his 5-year, $100 million contract, and the back-loaded deal is starting to kill the Saints' salary cap. Brees will take up $26.4 million against the cap this year, more than $5 million more than any other player in the NFL.

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

12. Ryan Kerrigan, Washington Redskins — $19,038,000

Position: Linebacker

2015 earnings breakdown: $16.0 million signing bonus, $2.8 million salary, $250,000 roster bonus.

One thing to know: Kerrigan is going to be a one-hit wonder on this list, having just signed a 5-year, $57.5 million contract. His total earnings in 2016 will be just $5.3 million.

(Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

11. J.J. Watt, Houston Texans — $19,969,000

Position: Defensive End

2015 earnings breakdown: $10.0 million restructure bonus, $9.97 million salary.

One thing to know: In just the second year of his 6-year, $100 million contract, Watt has already restructured the deal once, converting his $10 million roster bonus this season into a restructure bonus, spreading the cap hit out over the next five years.

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

10. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears — $20,500,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $15.5 million salary, $5.0 million restructure bonus.

One thing to know: Jay Cutler has already earned $75.7 million heading into the 2015 season, and he has played in just two playoff games, winning one.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

9. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons — $23,500,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $12.0 million signing bonus, $11.5 million salary.

One thing to know: Ryan still has four years remaining on his 5-year, $103.75 million contract extension.

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

8. Ndamukong Suh, Miami Dolphins — $26,500,000

Position: Defensive Tackle

2015 earnings breakdown: $25.5 million signing bonus, $985,000 salary, $15,000 workout bonus.

One thing to know: Despite all the big contracts for quarterbacks, Suh was arguably the biggest winner, getting a megadeal worth $114 million over six years, including $60 million guaranteed. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the contract is going to become a nightmare after the second year.

(Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

7. AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals — $26,750,000

2015 earnings breakdown: $15.0 million signing bonus, $11.75 million salary.

One thing to know: Green signed a 4-year, $60 million contract just prior to the start of the season. The $15.0 million-per-year average is second only to Calvin Johnson among wide receivers.

(AP Photo/AJ Mast, File)

6. Marcell Dareus, Buffalo Bills — $27,823,530

Position: Defensive Tackle

2015 earnings breakdown: $25.0 million signing bonus, $2.8 million salary.

One thing to know: Dareus cashed in just before the start of the season with a $96.6 million contract that includes $60 million guaranteed. However, as has become the norm in the NFL, the "real guarantee" is really just his earnings this year with the rest only guaranteed against injury.

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

5. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers — $31,000,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $22.5 million signing bonus, $1.0 million salary, $7.5 million roster bonus.

One thing to know: Cam was one of several quarterbacks to cash in this summer, getting a 5-year, $103.8 million deal. It was his deal that set the tone for all the others.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks — $31,700,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $31.0 million signing bonus, $700,000 salary.

One thing to know: Russell Wilson is finally going to get paid, but his contract was not the game changer many were expecting.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers — $35,250,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $31 million signing bonus, $1 million salary, $3.25 million roster bonus.

One thing to know: At $87.4 million, the contract signed this off-season by Big Ben doesn't sound as sexy as the other deals signed by quarterbacks. However, it was better than most as he got more than $35 million in Year 1 and a whopping $53 million over the first two seasons.

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

2. Eli Manning, New York Giants — $37,000,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $31.0 million signing bonus, $5.5 million salary, $500,000 workout bonus.

One thing to knowEli Manning finally agreed to his long-anticipated contract extension that includes an NFL-record-tying $65 million guaranteed and a whopping $37 million in the first year.

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

1. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers — $37,500,000

Position: Quarterback

2015 earnings breakdown: $22.5 million signing bonus, $15.0 million salary.

One thing to know: While everybody was focused on Eli Manning, Russell Wilson, and Ndamukong Suh, it was Rivers who got the surprise monster contract of the off-season. Like Roethlisberger's deal, at $83.3 million, Rivers' new extension doesn't sound as sexy. But he got an NFL-record $65 million in guaranteed money and $54 million over the first two seasons.

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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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."

The Broncos pushed it to 17-0 on Brandon McManus' 23-yard field goal late in the second quarter.

San Diego rookie Josh Lambo kicked a 51-yard field goal just before halftime to avoid a shutout. He missed a 48-yarder in the first quarter.

Chargers receiver Dontrelle Inman suffered a scary injury in the first quarter. He was immobilized on a backboard and taken off the field on a cart after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Denver safety David Bruton Jr. Inman was hit after making a 15-yard catch for a first down.

An initial evaluation was negative and Inman was able to move his hands and feet, the team said.

A few plays later, cornerback Brandon Flowers was hurt. He too was taken off the field on a cart.

Running back Melvin Gordon, the Chargers' first-round draft pick, lost another fumble and was benched. He has lost four of his five fumbles and has yet to score a touchdown.

NOTES: Broncos TE Vernon Davis also suffered a concussion. Others on the Broncos' injury list were Anderson (ankle), S Omar Bolden (hamstring) and Bruton (knee). ... The Chargers reluctantly confirmed reports they extended general manager Tom Telesco's contract during the summer. The team didn't say why it tried to keep the news quiet. ... Coach Mike McCoy, 21-23 in three seasons, said he has not been offered an extension.

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