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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
CHICAGO – Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and receiver Vincent Jackson combined for a big day in the air, accounting for seven receptions, 165 yards and one touchdown in a 31-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Rivers had an efficient first half despite the absence of Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman and Louis Vasquez on the offensive line, going 13-for-19 with 179 yards and a touchdown pass to Antonio Gates.
“There were some things that we were very specific with what we wanted to do with getting the ball out quick,” Head Coach Norv Turner said. “I thought Philip (Rivers) throughout most of the game was outstanding.”
The Rivers-to-Jackson connection produced four catches and 96 yards in the first half alone, with three of the four receptions going for more than 20 yards.
“They played more off coverage than a lot of teams,” Rivers said about the Bears defending Jackson. “A couple of those (plays) he beat press (coverage) and got great releases and just ran by them.”
Said Jackson: “The things me and Philip have been doing for the past few years, it’s kind of tough for anybody to cover us 1-on-1 down the field.”
One of Rivers’ most impressive passes to Jackson came in the second quarter when he perfectly placed a pass near the right sideline for 39 yards to the Chicago 8-yard line, which led to an 8-yard touchdown to tight end Antonio Gates.
Early in the third quarter Rivers once again went deep to his favorite target Jackson for a 47-yard gain. The duo finished what they started when Rivers threaded a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jackson with three defenders surrounding the ball to tie the game at 17-17.
“I like the way offensively our guys we’re able to attack them,” Turner said. “I thought we made plays and had a chance.”
With the Bolts down two touchdowns late in the third quarter, Rivers and Jackson sparked another scoring drive with a 17-yard connection for a first down, which led to a 48-yard Nick Novak field goal.
Rivers finished the game with a 90.8 passer rating, 280 yards and two touchdowns, but threw two fourth-quarter interceptions.