Philip Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals to give the San Diego Chargers a 19-9 victory over the Indiana Colts on Monday.
Rivers methodically moved the Chargers (3-3) on three scoring drives of at least 74 yards as he rebounded from a three-interception performance in a loss at Oakland.
That — and a lot of dropped passes by Colts receivers — kept Indianapolis (4-2) from taking a two-game lead over Tennessee in the American Football Conference South Division.
A week earlier, Andrew Luck helped rally the Colts to a 34-28 victory against Seattle.
He had no chance against the Bolts because of two long drives in the second quarter that helped contribute to the Chargers dominating possession by 38 minutes, 31 seconds to Indiana’s 21:29.
Allen got behind safety Delano Howell and cornerback Vontae Davis on a post route for the touchdown, completing a 12-play, 74-yard march that took just longer than 6 minutes and gave San Diego a 7-3 lead. It was Allen’s second touchdown catch of the season.
Novak’s first field goal capped a drive that went 79 yards in 17 plays in 7:58. 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-six 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 Adam Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal.
On the Colts’ only other possession of the second quarter, Darrius Heyward-Bey dropped what likely would have been a long touchdown pass down the right sideline.
Novak also had field goals of 33, 34 and 50 yards, with the final one coming with 1:55 left. Vinatieri finished with three field goals.
Chargers cornerback Derek Cox snuffed out Indy’s final chance when he intercepted a pass that was tipped by receiver Reggie Wayne with 1:07 to play.
Rivers was 22 of 33 for 237 yards and no interceptions. Luck was 18 of 30 for 202 yards. Wayne got his 1,000th career reception in the fourth quarter.