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Bolts Dismantle Jags with Career Nights from Ekeler and Rivers

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Thanks to a complete game courtesy of all three phases, the Chargers secured a dominant 45-10 victory over the Jaguars in Jacksonville.

"Some people might take their football and go home," head coach Anthony Lynn said. "But these guys are going to play all 16 games." 

The Chargers offense recorded a season-high 45 points and 525 total yards. Quarterback Philip Rivers led the way on his 38th birthday with a memorable performance, finishing 16-of-22 for 314 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions, a career-high 154.4 quarterback rating, and a career-long 84-yard touchdown pass to Austin Ekeler.

Despite his outstanding performance, Rivers was the first to deflect attention from himself and was instead complimentary of his teammates and coaching staff for putting the 16-year veteran in a position to succeed.

"It's games like this… it felt like we were a play ahead," Rivers said. "Shane (Steichen) was a play ahead with the call, and those games are fun."

The 84-yard reception was also the longest of the night for Ekeler, whose 213 total yards were the most of his career, while his touchdown gives the running back eight receiving and 11 total touchdowns on the season. He became the second Charger in team history to record 100 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards in a game since Lionel James in 1985.

"I mean that kid deserves it," tight end Hunter Henry said of Ekeler. "Going from an undrafted kid to see where he's at. It's awesome to see his success. I mean, that kid is a beast."

Eliminating slow starts has been a point of emphasis for Anthony Lynn and his coaching staff this season, and the Bolts offense was off and running after Melvin Gordon rushed for his fifth touchdown of the season on the Chargers' opening drive of the game.

Gordon finished the game with 84 total yards, and his 55 yards on the ground helped add to the team's 195 total rush yards on the day. The inability to defend the running game continues to be problematic for Jacksonville, as the team entered Sunday with the second-most yards rushing allowed in the league.

Derek Watt recorded the first touchdown of his career Sunday, a feat that "surprised" Lynn given the fullback's versatility.

"I'm happy for him," Lynn said. "He does all of the dirty work, the blocking (and) tough yards inside. It's what he's done all along." 

In addition to the dominant running attack, Rivers connected with his receiving corps throughout the contest, including a 44-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams, the first TD for the wideout this season.

"Yeah, gosh, it was long overdue," Rivers said of Williams. "What a catch, too, just to kinda add to his big-play list this year, and he extended his yards per catch average, so he'll stay in the lead on that one… Just his big-play ability, and the catches in traffic are awesome."

When asked who Williams reminds Rivers of, the veteran quarterback recalled two Chargers wideouts of years past, attesting that Williams possesses qualities of both.

"He reminds me a little bit of Vincent (Jackson) and a little bit of Malcom (Floyd) at times, but he's Mike Williams," Rivers said. "He's made a few more 'Malcom-like' catches this year...But it's different the way he does it. His physicality is a little more like Vincent."

The Chargers defense also kept Jacksonville in check, as the unit held the Jags to 10 total points.  

Safety Derwin James and linebacker Drue Tranquill combined for 14 tackles while defensive end Joey Bosa had two sacks, three tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, and four total tackles.

"He's an awesome player, he just never quits," Rivers said of Bosa. "He just doesn't stop. As long as you're back there with the football, he's comin'. And I think the way he plays the run, he and Melvin (Ingram) should get a ton of credit for rushing the passer…the way they play the run game, the way they hustle and the way they compete like all of our guys, we're going to fight 'til the end, and Joey is a perfect example of that."

The Chargers return home to ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park next Sunday to face the 9-4 Minnesota Vikings. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. PT.

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