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Scouting Report: Chargers vs. Jaguars
A Look Back At Last Week
The Chargers evened their record at 3-3 with an impressive 19-9 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Bolts held Indy’s high powered offense out of the end zone the entire game, limiting the damage to just three field goals. Nick Novak outscored the entire Colts team all on his own with four field goals, while on offense the team had its best rushing game of the year. They ran for 147 yards, spearheaded by Ryan Mathews’ 102 yards.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Philip Rivers continues his red-hot start to the season, entering the game as the NFL’s second-highest rated passer at 108.7, more than 13 points higher than his career rating of 95.4. Rivers’ completion percentage of 72.6% is 8.4 percentage points higher than his career rate of 64.4. He’s thrown for 1,847 yards (308 yards per game), while tossing 14 touchdowns to only five interceptions. The Bolts spread
Chad Henne is expected to once again start at quarterback for Jacksonville. Last week against the Denver Broncos, he threw for 303 yards while wide receiver Justin Blackmon had 14 catches for 190 yards, the fifth-most yards in a game by any receiver in the NFL this season. Blackmon’s 19 catches and 326 yards this season are second on the squad to leading receiver Cecil Shorts, who has 31 catches for 411 yards.
On Defense for the Chargers
San Diego’s defense has turned in solid performances recently, allowing the second fewest yards in the NFL over the last three games among teams that have not had a bye. The Bolts’ held Dallas, Oakland and the Colts to a total of 939 yards, which ranks second to the Houston Texans who held Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis to a combined 808 yards. Making the effort against the Colts even more impressive was the fact that the Chargers went into the game without their leaders in tackles (Donald Butler) and sacks (Jarret Johnson), as both were sidelined by injury.
On Defense for the Jaguars
Linebacker Paul Posluszny has been the Jags’ most effective weapon this season. He has a team-high 54 tackles and intercepted his team-leading second pass of the season last week and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown. The Jaguars’ defense held Peyton Manning to under 300 yards passing for the first time this season (295), while Manning’s two touchdown passes tied a season low. The first pick of the second round in April, John Cyprien ranks second on the team with 41 tackles
The Chargers and Jaguars will meet for just the sixth time when they square off on Sunday in Florida. The Chargers have won the last two (38-13 in San Diego in 2010 and 38-14 in Jacksonville in 2011) and lead the series, 3-2. The 2011 contest marked the Chargers only win in Florida as the Jaguars won when the teams played there in 2003 and 2007.
By the Numbers
For the year, the Chargers rank sixth in total offense (397.7 yards per game), fifth in passing (287.2 ypg), 19th in rushing (100.5 ypg) and 14th in points (24.0). The Jaguars rank 32nd in total offense (270.2 ypg), 25th in passing (209.7 ypg), 32nd in rushing (60.5 ypg) and 32nd in points (11.7)
Defensively, the Bolts rank 21st in total defense (382.8 ypg), 25th in passing (272.8 ypg), 17th in rushing (110.0 ypg) and 17th in points allowed (23.0). Jacksonville ranks 22nd in total defense (384.3 ypg), 14th in passing (231.8 ypg), 32nd in rushing (152.5 ypg) and 31st in points allowed (33.0).
Milestones on the Horizon
Antonio Gates will make his 150th career start on Sunday. Gates comes into the game with 21career 100-yard receiving games. He needs just one more to tie Wes Chandler for the fifth most 100-yard receiving games in team history by any player and five more to tie Kellen Winslow’s mark (26) for most in team history by a tight end. Gates’ 21 100-yard games are fourth-most in NFL history by a tight end (since 1960).
Gates’ 85 career touchdown catches are second-most by a tight end in NFL history (Tony Gonzalez, 106). His 678 career catches are fourth-most behind Shannon Sharpe (815), Jason Witten (837) and Gonzalez (1,275), while his receiving yards are also fourth (8,787) behind the same three.
Ryan Mathews (2,812 career rushing yards) is seventh on the team’s all-time rushing yardage list. With another 46 yards on the ground, Mathews will tie Don Woods (2,858) for sixth.
Nick Novak needs 13 field goals to tie Dennis Partee (71) for fourth on the team’s all-time field goals list. Novak is enjoying a solid season as he’s 13-of-15 on field goals, including 6-of-6 from beyond 40 yards. Novak has 263 career points and needs 13 to move into the team’s Top-10 for career scoring. Currently, running back Paul Lowe is 10th with 276 career points.
When the Chargers and Jaguars met in Jacksonville on Dec. 5, 2011, the Chargers won 38-14 on Monday Night Football to snap a six-game losing streak. Rivers had a huge night with a season-high 146.1 rating as he went 22 of 28 for 294 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Vincent Brown caught one of the touchdown passes from Rivers, a 22-yarder, and Ryan Mathews had the longest touchdown run of his career (31 yards). For the defense, Cam Thomas had a sack and Eric Weddle had an interception.
In five career games against Jacksonville, Gates has 24 catches for 282 yards and five touchdowns. In a game against Jacksonville in San Diego on Sept. 19, 2010, Gates passed Steve Jordan (6,307) for seventh in NFL receiving yards by a tight end. Gates also caught the 61st touchdown pass of his career, breaking a tie with Jerry Smith for the third most touchdowns by a tight end in NFL history. Later in the game, he caught his 62nd career TD pass to move into a tie with Shannon Sharpe for second among tight ends.
Fullback LeRon McClain tied his career high with 25 carries and two rushing touchdowns in a Dec. 28, 2008 game in Jacksonville while playing for Baltimore.
Wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins had the best receiving game of his career for Tennessee against Jacksonville in 2011 with 8 catches for 88 yards and in 2012 he caught the longest touchdown pass of his career (42 yards) against the Jaguars.
Linebacker Reggie Walker made his NFL debut in a game against Jacksonville Sept. 20, 2009.
Chargers’ General Manager Tom Telesco and Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell worked together in the football operations department in Indianapolis for 10 seasons (1998-07).
Assistant special teams coach Craig Aukerman spent the 2011 season as a defensive assistant with the Jaguars and the ’12 season as their assistant special teams coach.
Cornerback Derek Cox was a third-round pick of the Jaguars (73) in 2009 and he spent his first four pro seasons in Jacksonville, collecting a team-leading 12 interceptions during that span.
Chargers from Florida include: Jahleel Addae (Valrico), Ladarius Green (Pensacola), Jarret Johnson (Chiefland), Corey Liuget (Miami), Johnny Patrick (DeLand), Mike Remmers (Tampa) and Tourek Williams (Miami).
Running back Jordan Todman was a sixth-round pick by the Chargers in 2011 from Connecticut. He spent the first six weeks of the ’11 season on the Bolts’ active roster and most of the rest of the season on the team’s practice squad.
Jags assistant offensive line coach Luke Butkus spent most of the 2002 season on the Chargers’ practice squad.
Tight ends and assistant special teams coach Ron Middleton played his final season of a 10-year NFL career with the Chargers in 1995.
Wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan held the same post in San Diego from 1992-96 under former Head Coach Bobby Ross.
CBS (KFMB, Channel 8 in San Diego and KCBS, Channel 2 in Los Angeles and Orange County) – Spero Dedes(play-by-play) and Steve Beuerlein (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst)
Spanish Radio –XHFG 107.3 (San Diego) and KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles) – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Dante Lazcano (analyst)
All Chargers radio broadcasts are now being streamed live on the team’s official website, www.chargers.com. XTRA Sports 1360 Broadcasts with Josh Lewin (play-by-play) and Hank Bauer (analyst) will begin two hours before kickoff and continue for 90 minutes of postgame coverage after the game ends.
For a unique, one-of-a-kind look at the Chargers, be sure to tune in each week to Chargers Insider on Fox Sports San Diego. The half-hour program will be the go-to destination for fans that want behind-the-scenes coverage and unique features on the team. Chargers Insider airs each week throughout the season on Thursdays at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. PT as well as Saturday’s at 11:35pm on KFMB, Channel 8.