San Diego Chargers 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 25
The Chargers (3-8) ended their six game skid with a win against the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) on Sunday. Philip Rivers had quite a day, throwing for 300 yards and 4 TD’s, as the Chargers played one of their most complete games this season.
Rivers hit Antonio Gates for two of his four TD’s, Gates second multi-TD game this season. Rivers passed Joe Montana and ended the game tied with Vinny Testaverde with 275 career TD’s, good for 11th on the all-time list.
The Chargers were down 6-0 to end the first quarter after a couple of Jags’ field goals, but Rivers found Dontrelle Inman from 2-yards out for his first TD. With thatcompletion, Rivers reached 40,000 passing yards for his career.
The Jaguars offense was having its way against a suspect Chargers d early. Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns were heavily involved, especially in the first half. Fortunately for the Chargers, the Jaguars continue to struggle in the red zone as they have all season. Out of four trips on the day, they scored just once.
While the Jags had a hard time punching it in inside the 20, the Chargers scored TD’s in all three trips to the red zone.
With just under a minute left in the half the Jags got the ball back but Manti Te’o picked off Blake Bortles and set up the Chargers in great field position. Three plays later, Gates was on the receiving end again on a 12-yard strike by Rivers.
That was a huge momentum swing at the end of the half and gave the Chargers a 21-9 first half lead.
The defense really stepped up after giving up some big plays early on. Denzel Perryman and Manti Te’o were all over the place on defense. Perryman lead the team with 7 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and delivered some big hits, setting the tone for the defense. Kendall Reyes and Jimmy Wilson added a sack each as well on the afternoon.
Melvin Gordon looked the best he has all season. I couldn’t believe it, but there was some great outside run play calls and Gordon ran hard bouncing off tackles all day. He didn’t get into the end zone but ended with 60 yards on 14 carries.
The teams would exchange field goals in the third, as the Chargers took a 24 to 12 lead heading into the fourth. This is where the game got interesting.
Bortles led the Jags 80 yards on a 12-play, and on a 4th and 7 from the Chargers 21,
he found tight end Julius Thomas for the TD to make it a six point game.
Thomas had his best game as a Jaguar hauling in 9 catches for 116 yards and the TD.
But the Chargers responded every time the Jaguars tried to claw back into the game. The very next drive Rivers found Stevie Johnson from 5 yards out for the TD. The drive lasted six minutes and went 80-yards on 14 plays.
After the Jags turned the ball over on downs, the Bolts were forced to punt 1:37 left in the game and holding a 31-19 lead. The punt was blocked and recovered by the Jaguars.
Two plays later Bortles found Allen Robinson for the score but the extra point was no-good, as the Jags were now down just 6.
One last effort on the onside kick for the Jags but the ball was legally batted out of bounds and the Chargers held on to win in Jacksonville and end their six game losing streak.
Rivers – 29/43, 300 yards, 4 TD’s / 5 carries, 9 yards
Gordon – 14 carries, 60 yards / 5 receptions, 20 yards
Johnson – 7 receptions, 92 yards, 1 TD
Gates – 4 receptions, 53 yards, 2 TD’s
On offense, I got to give it to Rivers, who else? He was solid all day, made the throws were used to seeing and really had the offense rolling all day. On defense, Denzel Perryman played hungry all day. After he allowed a long play to running back T.J. Yeldon on the first drive, he was the heart and soul of the D today.
Denver Broncos (8-2) @ San Diego Chargers (3-8)
The Denver Broncos will come to town as these two teams will meet for the first time this season. The Broncos have been without Peyton Manning the last couple of weeks as he recovers from plantar faciatis. Brock Osweiler will look to continue playing well in his absence. The Chargers offense will have to play well as the Broncos possess one of the top defenses in the league.