SAN DIEGO (AP) — Philip Rivers and the San Diego Charges were afterthoughts going into Monday night's game against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.
"I wasn't sure who the Colts were playing this week, all the ads I saw," Rivers said.
Rivers helped take Luck out of the game by expertly guiding a balanced offense on three scoring drives of at least 74 yards in the Chargers' 19-9 victory on Monday night. He threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals for the Chargers (3-3), who bounced back from a dismal loss at Oakland.
"We need to be able to run it, we need to have that nice balance," Rivers said. "There'll be some games where we'll spread out throwing it. And they'll be some games like this. This is kind of an old-school NFL win right here. It's good for our team to get that done."
The Chargers still trail the undefeated Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs by three games in the AFC West.
"I thought this was a turning point for our season," Rivers said. "That doesn't mean it's going to take care of itself, but 2-4 would have been quite a bind to be in. We've got to get Jacksonville next week before the bye and find ourselves at 4-3 and see what happens the rest of the way."
The Colts didn't even score a touchdown. All their points came on three field goals by Adam Vinatieri.
A week earlier, Luck helped rally the Colts to a 34-28 victory against Seattle.
Luck had no real chance against the Bolts because of two long drives in the second quarter that helped contribute to the Chargers dominating the time of possession 38 minutes, 31 seconds to 21:29.
Allen got behind safety Delano Howell and cornerback Vontae Davis on a post route for the TD, completing a 12-play, 74-yard march. It was Allen's second TD catch of the season.
Novak's first field goal capped a drive that went 79 yards in 17 plays. The drive was kept alive when cornerback Greg Toler was whistled for illegal contact for pushing receiver Lavelle Hawkins out of bounds on third-and-6 from the Chargers 45.
Luck then completed four straight passes to move the Colts into Chargers territory before Coby Fleener dropped a pass at the 25. Luck scrambled for 6 yards and threw an incompletion before Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired.
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