Running game powers Chargers over Broncos

For much of the 2009 season, the San Diego Chargers’ running game has been non-existent. But in the past two weeks, it has helped the Bolts recapture first place in the AFC West.

One week after rushing for 119 yards in a win over the Eagles, the Chargers racked up 203 rushing yards in a dominating 32-3 victory on Sunday. LaDainian Tomlinson was solid, rushing for 73 yards with a touchdown on 20 carries while Mike Tolbert finished with 58 yards and a touchdown on seven totes.

The Chargers revived another part of their game today too: Their pass rush. They sacked the combination of Kyle Orton and Chris Simms three times and intercepted Orton once when they blitzed a defensive back on the play. If they can get a similar effort from their pass rush moving forward, than this is going to be a tough team to beat over the final month of the season.

Denver is in a free fall right now. In their current four-game losing streak, they’ve allowed 29.3 points per game after allowing just 11 PPG in their six game winning streak. They couldn’t stop the Chargers’ running game and even when San Diego put the ball in the air, Denver got zero pressure on Philip Rivers.

Offensively, Simms started but was brutal again. Orton came in and immediately started moving the offense, but the drive stalled when Knowshon Moreno fumbled at the goal line and killed a scoring drive. After that, Orton failed to move the ball the rest of the contest and the Broncos’ offense fell flat.

Considering Denver is only one game behind with six remaining, I don’t want to overstate things. But San Diego has completely seized control in the AFC West and they look like they’re going to roll to another division title.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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