The Chargers take a decisive victory in Jacksonville, prevailing over the Jaguars 24-6.
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The Jaguars won the toss and elected to defer, giving the ball to Philip Rivers and company first. The Chargers cashed in and made Jacksonville pay with an 80-yard, 13-play drive. Rivers was a perfect 6-for-6 on the 7:37 drive and Danny Woodhead capped it off with two-yard run for a 7-0 lead. On the Jags first offensive drive of the game, they drove it into Chargers territory and seemed poised to put up points, but back to back sacks by Corey Liuget and Jahleel Addae pushed them out of field goal range and they were forced to punt. After a touchback, Rivers hit Keenan Allen for a 27-yard gain. After consecutive penalties of a hold and false start followed then by a sack, it looked like the Bolts would have to punt. However, an unsportsmanlike conduct call on the Jaguars Sen’Derrick Marks gave the Chargers a first down.
To start the second quarter Le’Ron McClain picked up a 3rd-and-1 by the nose of the ball. After losing King Dunlap and Mike Remmers to injury, the Chargers offense didn’t miss a beat as Rivers hit Eddie Royal for a 27-yard touchdown. Royal made an acrobatic leap at the goal line after cradling in the long pass to make it a 14-0 lead. On their second possession of the game, the Jaguars pieced together an 18-play drive but the Bolts defense held strong in the red zone, limiting the damage to a Josh Scobee 30-yard field goal to trim the lead to 14-3. Once again faced with 80-yards to go for a score, the Chargers moved it down to just inches shy of the goal line. With time running out in the half, Rivers' attempt to dive in the end zone came up inches short and the score stayed 14-3 heading into halftime.
Jacksonville started the second half with the ball, but Manti Te’o limited them to a three-and-out when the rookie linebacker drilled Henne on a naked bootleg on third down. On the first play of the Chargers drive, Rivers hit Ladarius Green for a 27-yard gain. On 2nd-and-20, Woodhead took a screen pass for a hard fought 26-yard gain. After the 10-play drive stalled at the three yard line, Nick Novak connected from 20 yards for a 17-3 lead. Two plays later, Henne hit Mike Brown for a 43-yard gain to put the ball deep in San Diego territory. Once again, the Chargers defense buckled down and limited the damage to a short Scobee field goal after having the ball in a first-and-goal situation. The field goal brought the Jaguars to within 17-6. Rivers and the offense picked up three first downs and had the ball at the Jacksonville 39-yard line as the third quarter ended.
The Chargers took a commanding 24-6 lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter when Ryan Mathews had a three-yard touchdown plunge. The play was set up by a 29-yard reception by Eddie Royal. On that play, Rivers became just the 37th quarterback in NFL history, and second in Bolts history after Dan Fouts, to surpass 30,000 yards for his career. On the Jaguars first play, Thomas Keiser recorded his second sack of the game. Two plays later the home team punted back to the Bolts. On the Chargers first carry of the next possession, Mathews topped the 100-yard mark for the second consecutive game. Unfortunately, the team went three-and-out and punted back to the Jags. On the next two offensive drives, the Jags went three-and-out and threw an interception. The Chargers offense took the ball at midfield with just over 5 minutes remaining. After rushing on all three downs to run the clock down, they end up punting the ball away again. The Jags have the ball once more on offense but to no avail as the Chargers hold on to seal their victory.
In a game in which the Chargers led from the opening drive, it was that first possession that proved to be the turning point in the game. San Diego started the day off with an 80-yard, 13-play drive that took 7:37 off the clock. Philip Rivers was a perfect 6-for-6 on the drive, and once Danny Woodhead got his team on the board with a hard-fought two-yard run, the Chargers took the lead and never looked back.
It was Over When…
On the third play of the fourth quarter, Ryan Mathews bruised his way into the end zone for a 24-6 advantage. The Jaguars were already too far behind by that point, and the final touchdown of the game put the match completely out of reach.
Play of the Game
While there were three touchdowns in the game, one turnover caused, and a number of clutch stops on defense, it was a 2nd-and-20 screen pass to Danny Woodhead in the third quarter that turned a lot of heads. The diminutive running back caught the ball around the line of scrimmage to the right and showed all of his attributes – strength, agility, speed and smarts – by weaving his way around defenders for a 26-yard completion down to the Jaguars 25-yard line.
Stat of the Game
Philip Rivers surpassed 30,000 career passing yards on a fourth quarter completion to Eddie Royal. Rivers is juts the 37th player in NFL history, and second Charger next to Dan Fouts, to accomplish that feat.
“An outstanding team effort today. On a short week travelling across the country, the players had an outstanding week of practice. The most energy, efficiency and the way the coaches had a plan for practice this week it was outstanding. When we play that way during the week in practice (it) carries over in the game.” – Head Coach Mike McCoy
“Philip is amazing. The amount of talent in this league over the years, it shows what kind of quarterback he is. To see what he can do, it’s an amazing thing. I’m happy for him. The amount of work he puts in is incredible. He deserves it.” – Wide Receiver Vincent Brown
“(Playing left tackle) was a challenge. I wasn’t really used to it. As the game went on I got more comfortable with it. It’s something you’ve got to adapt to. When we started running the ball a little bit, I said it’s not so bad. The more comfortable I got the better I got at it.” - Tackle D.J Fluker
“A lot of work during the week – a good amount of energy, effort and attention to detail - pays off. We know our assignments and can execute them with a lot of gusto. Guys are coming out establishing it early, and when you do that you can keep running it and it opens everything up” - Center Nick Hardwick
“The running backs support each other. We feed off each other. When one of us is doing well we all want to do well. We’re just doing what we can to help the team.” – Running Back Ryan Mathews
Odds and Ends
The Chargers defense has not allowed a touchdown in 10 quarters.
Philip Rivers finished 22 of 26 for 285 yards and one touchdown for a passer rating of 125.2.
Antonio Gates led all receivers with six receptions while Eddie Royal had a team-high 69 yards.
The Bolts rushed for 158 yards on 40 carries. Ryan Mathews led the way with 110 yards on 21 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.
San Diego started the game with five straight possessions of double-digit plays.
Eric Weddle, Larry English and Andrew Gachkar tied for the team lead with five tackles each.
The Chargers had a season-high six sacks, led by Thomas Keiser with two.
Marcus Gilchrist recorded his first interception of the season.
San Diego once again dominated time of possession. This time they held the ball for 37:30 while Jacksonville had it for just 22:30.
Inactives for the Chargers included Nick Becton, Donald Butler, Jarret Johnson, Chad Rinehart, Brad Sorensen, Stephen Schilling and Brandon Taylor.
Johnnie Troutman started for Rinehart, Andrew Gachkar for Butler and Tourek Williams for Johnson.