The slumping San Diego Chargers needed a victory, and Stan Humphries was feeling sound enough to give it to them.
Making his first start since he bruised his right shoulder eight weeks ago, Humphries passed for 216 yards and two touchdowns Monday night, sending the Chargers to a 31-0 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
San Diego (5-6), the AFC West champion a year ago but hurt by injuries this season, had lost five of its past seven games, including four since John Friesz replaced Humphries as the starter. But Humphries, who appeared in relief last week in a loss to the Raiders, was ready this time.
The Colts (3-8) have lost four games in a row and seven of eight.
Keeping the Colts guessing by going to eight receivers, Humphries completed 12 of 19 passes for 171 yards in the first half, including five in a row for 81 yards on the Chargers’ second possession. The 97-yard drive was San Diego’s longest of the season, and a 39-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Jefferson on the second play of the second quarter was Humphries’ longest completion this season and Jefferson’s longest reception and first touchdown of the year.
For the game, Humphries was 16 for 25 with no interceptions and no sacks. The Chargers ran for 247 yards. The Colts lost the ball on an interception and twice on fumbles, including one that set up the Chargers’ third touchdown, a one-yard run by Marion Butts on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Runs of 16 and 25 yards by rookie Natrone Means started the Chargers’ second scoring drive late in the second quarter. Humphries completed three passes on that drive, including an eight-yarder to Nate Lewis for the touchdown 34 seconds before halftime. The 14-0 lead marked San Diego’s most points in the first half of a game this season.