Chargers lead Broncos 24-0 at halftime

Associated Press
San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, front, leaps into the end zone for a touchdown as Denver Broncos strong safety Mike Adams defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi )

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San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, front, leaps into the end zone for a touchdown as Denver …

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Quentin Jammer intercepted Peyton Manning and returned it 80 yards for his first career touchdown, and Antonio Gates scored his second TD of the game, extending the San Diego Chargers' lead to 24-0 over the Denver Broncos at halftime on Monday night.

Before Jammer's TD, the Broncos appeared on their way to their first score of the game with Manning's 55-yard pass to a wide-open Eric Decker. But he tripped himself, got up and was tackled at the Chargers 30-yard line.

Manning clapped both hands to his helmet in disbelief, yet another sign of frustration by the star quarterback.

After Denver's 4-yard gain, Manning threw an incomplete pass and then his short pass intended for Matthew Willis was intercepted by Jammer at the San Diego 20. Jammer went 80 yards and just made it into the corner of the end zone with 6 minutes to play in the second quarter for his first TD in 11 years in the NFL. He has never lived up to expectations of a No. 5 draft pick.

With 24 seconds left before halftime, Philip Rivers hit Gates with an 11-yard TD pass, making it 24-0. Gates had five catches for 68 yards.

The Chargers racked up seven penalties for 55 yards in the first half.

Rivers was 11 of 17 for 131 yards, two TDs and one interception in the half; Manning was 11 of 16 for 142 yards and the interception.

The Chargers led 10-0 after a sloppy first quarter.

Gates caught a 15-yard touchdown from Rivers and Nick Novak kicked a 32-yard field goal for the Chargers, who were trying to take a two-game lead over Denver atop the AFC West heading into their bye week.

Two Denver fumbles led to both of San Diego's first two scores. Broncos wide receiver Trindon Holliday, claimed off waivers from Houston last week, dropped a punt to kill their second possession of the game. The Chargers recovered to set up Novak's field goal at 8:59.

Rivers was under heavy pressure and made some errant throws early while San Diego's running game stalled. But another Broncos' miscue set up his TD pass to Gates at 8:16.

Omar Bolden fumbled a kickoff return and the Chargers recovered, leaving Manning shaking his head. The Broncos are 0-2 on the road in Manning's first season since leaving Indianapolis.

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