SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers kept Andrew Luck on the sideline most of the night, giving the Indianapolis Colts quarterback no chance at another comeback.
Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to rookie Keenan Allen and Nick Novak kicked four field goals to give the Chargers a 19-9 victory over the Colts on Monday night.
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 dismal 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 AFC South.
A week earlier, Luck helped rally the Colts to a 34-28 victory against Seattle.
‘‘We knew if we didn’t turn the ball over and we sustained drives, which we did — we had some 12, 14, 16-play drives — that we'd give ourselves a chance to win,’’ Rivers said.
‘‘We didn’t go into the game saying ‘Let’s play ball control.’ We wanted to score as many points as we could. We didn’t score that many, but we did sustain drives. I thought Keenan Allen stepped up big. They were doubling Gatesy [Antonio Gates] a lot, and Danny Woodhead stepped up big. The offensive line was great. That’s the way we need to be able to run the football. If we can mix the run in, we got a chance.’’
Luck had no 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 touchdown, completing a 12-play, 74-yard march that took 6:14 and gave San Diego a 7-3 lead.
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 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 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 Adam Vinatieri kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
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 Indianapolis’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.