It sure was a White Hot Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium, when the San Diego Chargers took care of business with an 38-14 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
An impressive performance like this is just what the Bolts and fans needed after the debacle at Arrowhead in week 1. It’s a step to redemption and a great confidence builder for the rest of the season.
Philip Rivers added another career-high four touchdown passes in a game, with a QB-rating of 138.9. He must love to play against the Jaguars. In 2014, at home, he had three touchdown passes with a QB-rating of 130.0. Last year in Jacksonville he also threw four TD passes, with a QB rating of 118.4. That’s a total of eleven touchdown passes in three games against them. Even better, he didn’t get intercepted in those last three meetings with the Jaguars.
Melvin Gordon had another big game. For the second consecutive week, running behind a solid offensive line, he looked like the player the Chargers envisioned he’d be when they spent a first-round draft pick on him. He did a great job picking up the workload after Woodhead got injured and showed he can handle 20 carries or more in a game. Gordon surpassed the 100 yard rushing mark for the first time in his career and added another rushing touchdown, his first at the Q.
Danny Woodhead suffered an apparent right-knee injury at the end of the first quarter and was carted off the field. Results from his MRI on Monday just confirmed that he has a torn ACL, which means he’ll be out for the season as well. The Chargers will need to make another big adjustment to their offense, losing a key player yet again.
Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams stepped up in the absence of Keenan Allen. Benjamin was signed to be a deep threat for Rivers and he showed he can be when a had the catch of the game on a 45 yard endzone pass by Rivers. He also displayed the speed necessary to replace Keenan’s role in the Bolt’s offense. Benjamin ended up with 6 reception for 115 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tyrell Williams flashed his playmaking ability when he caught a short pass on a crossing route and turned it into a 44 yard touchdown catch and run.
Antonio Gates scored another touchdown, his 105th. He’s now only six TDs away from tying Tony Gonzalez‘ record – most touchdowns scored by a tight end. Furthermore, it was Gates‘ 78th TD pass from Philip Rivers. They only need four more to tie Marino/Clayton for 3rd all-time.
Casey Hayward and Melvin Ingram were the Bolts’ defensive MVPs. Hayward demonstrated his ability to make plays as he intercepted Blake Bortles twice. Additionally, he had two pass breakups and was a valuable Special Teams contributor. Melvin Ingram was seemingly unstoppable and constantly bringing pressure. He recorded two sacks, a forced fumble (recovered by Liuget) and drew a couple of offensive penalties.
The Offensive Line showed more vulnerability in pass protection than last week. In total they allowed three sacks, all from the right side of the line. That said, the left side had it’s moments too. Orlando Franklin, in particular, seems to be susceptible to being bullrushed.
The Chargers were able to finish the game in the second half. Contrary to last week they didn’t blow a 21 point lead. The team stayed aggressive in all three phases and it paid off.