Final

Chargers 38

(5-7, 2-4 away)

Jaguars 14

(3-9, 2-4 home)

Coverage: ESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 5, 2011

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
SD 10 14 7 738
JAX 0 14 0 014

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 294 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: R. Mathews (SD) - 13 CAR, 112 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: M. Floyd (SD) - 4 REC, 108 YDS, 1 TD

Philip Rivers' 294 yards, 3 TDs power Chargers' romp over Jaguars

Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- No matter how many interceptions he threw, no matter how many turnovers he committed, Philip Rivers refused to play it safe.

He knew things would change.

They finally did. On "Monday Night Football" no less, and with his San Diego Chargers in the deepest of holes.

Rivers threw for 294 yards and three touchdowns, burning Jacksonville's depleted secondary early and often, and the Chargers beat the Jaguars 38-14 to snap a six-game losing streak.

The Chargers (5-7) had been waiting for the three-time Pro Bowl selection to return to form. Some questioned whether it would happen this season. But Rivers never lost faith even though he leads the NFL in interceptions (17) and turnovers (21) and was a key part of the team's disappointing slide.

"It's been a rough six weeks," Rivers said. "I haven't put a complete game together, but I don't care about the numbers. I just want to win."

Rivers was nearly perfect against Jacksonville (3-9), adding to the team's tumultuous week.

He completed 22 of 28 passes -- hooking up with Vincent Brown, Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd for long scores -- before sitting out the final few minutes. Rivers finished with a 146.1 QB rating, by far his highest of the season.

The Chargers scored on five of their first six drives, then sent most of the home crowd scrambling for the exits with Ryan Mathews' 31-yard TD run in the fourth. Mathews ran 13 times for 112 yards.

"That's the type of chemistry coming into this season we knew we had," tight end Antonio Gates said. "We stayed on course despite what we've been through these last six weeks. That we were able to get a win tonight speaks volumes for this team."

It was a much-needed victory for a team that trails Denver and Oakland by two games in the AFC West with four to play.

And it was another blow to the Jaguars, who endured the most sweeping changes in the 17-year history of the franchise last week.

Team owner Wayne Weaver fired coach Jack Del Rio and announced he was selling the club to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan. Interim coach Mel Tucker fired receivers coach Johnny Cox, reassigned quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard and waived starting receiver Jason Hill.

The moves seemed to invigorate a franchise that had seemingly gone stale in Del Rio's ninth season. Fans showed up energized for a prime-time game that signaled the start of a new era. Some wore "Yes We Khan" T-shirts. Other donned fake mustaches to emulate the owner-in-waiting.

It made little difference on the field, mostly because Jacksonville's defensive injuries proved too much to overcome.

The Jaguars played without their top three cornerbacks -- Rashean Mathis, Derek Cox and Will Middleton -- and lost safety Dwight Lowery (shoulder) and defensive end John Chick (knee) during the game.

"No excuses here," Tucker said. "We won't allow ourselves to go down that road."

Rivers took advantage of the injuries, picking on a pair of cornerbacks who were signed off the street in recent weeks.

Rivers threw a 22-yard TD pass to Brown and a 35-yarder to Jackson on the final two drives of the first half as the Chargers overcame a brief deficit to seize control. Those scores came in the final 2:32 of the half.

The opening drive of the third quarter didn't take long, either. On the fifth play, Rivers found Floyd deep down the right sideline for a 52-yard score. Floyd, activated Monday night after missing six games with a hip injury, beat Ashton Youboty badly on the play. Floyd finished with four receptions for 108 yards.

"He's just an outstanding player," Chargers coach Norv Turner said of Rivers. "Like any quarterback, it starts with protection, with the guys up front. He's missed Malcom. We've missed Malcom. When Philip has all his guys, and he can operate like he did today, he's as good as anybody."

It was the second TD given up by Youboty, who was replaced on the next possession by Morgan Trent, signed five days ago.

The biggest cheer for the Jaguars came late in the third quarter, when Weaver was shown on the stadium's large video board. Weaver and his wife received a standing ovation.

The $760 million sale must be approved by the NFL later this month. Khan chose not to attend the game, which turned out to be a good move.

"I don't think anyone has been through anything like that," said Maurice Jones-Drew, who finished with 188 total yards. "This is a $9 billion business. Other than that, we played football. We've got to figure out how to keep going for four quarters and not two."

Jones-Drew was the lone offensive star for Jacksonville -- again. He finished with 97 yards rushing and 91 yards receiving. He leads the NFL in rushing with 1,137 yards.

Jones-Drew caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Blaine Gabbert to cap a 79-yard drive at the start of the second quarter. The Jaguars managed only 27 yards in the opening quarter.

After a three-and-out by the Chargers, Gabbert and Drew hooked up on a 48-yard shovel pass. It was a beautifully executed play, with Gabbert flicking the ball five yards with his left hand to Drew, who had the middle of the field all to himself and ran down to the 4-yard line.

Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason broke up a potential touchdown pass to Jarett Dillard, but on third-and-goal from the 5, Gabbert found Cecil Shorts in the back corner of the end zone to give the Jaguars a 14-10 lead.

It was all San Diego after that, mostly due to Rivers.

Game notes


Chargers C Nick Hardwick (neck) left in the first half, but later returned. ... LB Donald Butler (foot) left the game and did not return. ... The Chargers improved to 18-2 in December and January under Turner. ... The Jaguars have lost 12 of their last 15 games, dating to last season. ... Gabbert completed 19 of 33 passes for 195 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception, his best game since early October. ... An overlooked play was Jacksonville offensive tackle Guy Whimper's 17-yard reception. He showed soft hands and nimble feet. Chargers S Eric Weddle didn't seem to want any part of tackling the 302-pound lineman.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SD
JAX
1st Downs1917
Passing 1st downs
1211
Rushing 1st downs
76
1st downs from Penalties
00
3rd down efficiency
4-109-16
4th down efficiency
0-00-2
Total Plays5466
Total Yards433306
Yards per play8.04.6
Total Drives1111
Passing294177
Comp - Att
22-2819-33
Yards per pass
10.55.4
Interceptions thrown
01
Sacks - Yards Lost
0-02-18
Rushing139129
Rushing Attempts
2631
Yards per rush
5.34.2
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-22-2
Penalties6-553-26
Turnovers01
Fumbles lost
00
Interceptions thrown
01
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession28:1731:43

Passing Leaders

SDC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Rivers22/2829410.5300-0
JAXC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Gabbert19/331955.9212-18

Rushing Leaders

SDCARYDSAVGTDLG
Mathews131128.6131
Tolbert6244.0113
JAXCARYDSAVGTDLG
Jones-Drew20974.9017
Gabbert6193.205

Receiving Leaders

SDRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Floyd410827.01524
Jackson47218.01355
JAXRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Jones-Drew69115.21488
Lewis3279.00124

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSDJAX
sdTD06:51Mike Tolbert 13 Yd Run (Nick Novak Kick) 70
sdFG00:41Nick Novak 29 Yd 100
SECOND QUARTERSDJAX
jaxTD07:55Maurice Jones-Drew 9 Yd Pass From Blaine Gabbert (Josh Scobee Kick) 107
jaxTD02:32Cecil Shorts III 5 Yd Pass From Blaine Gabbert (Josh Scobee Kick) 1014
sdTD01:26Vincent Brown 22 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Nick Novak Kick) 1714
sdTD00:16Vincent Jackson 35 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Nick Novak Kick) 2414
THIRD QUARTERSDJAX
sdTD12:04Malcom Floyd 52 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Nick Novak Kick) 3114
FOURTH QUARTERSDJAX
sdTD10:48Ryan Mathews 31 Yd Run (Nick Novak Kick) 3814

Research Notes

The Jaguars defeated the Ravens 12-7 on Monday Night Football back in Week 7 and the defense was a big reason for their success - as Jacksonville gave up just 112 passing yards and 34 yards on the ground. It was a different story against the Chargers on Monday as Philip Rivers carved the Jaguars secondary by throwing for 294 yards and 3 scores.
  [+]
Chargers running back Ryan Mathews ran for 113 yards on 12 carries Monday night, which equates to 8.62 yards per carry. The last time a Chargers running back averaged at least 8.62 yards per carry on at least 13 carries was LaDainian Tomlinson's 172 rushing yards on on 18 carries (9.56 yards per rush) in Week 9 of the 2006 season. Since 1979, the Chargers are a perfect 11-0 when a running back averages at least 8 yards per rush on at least 13 carries. Mathews now has four 100-yard rushing games in his short career. That moves him into second among Chargers running backs in that category since 1999, passing Mike Tolbert, who currently plays alongside Mathews in the San Diego backfield, and Michael Turner. LaDainian Tomlinson has 46 100-yard rushing games in that span and is the Chargers all-time leader in that category, so Mathews has a lot of work to do to catch up.
  [+]
Malcom Floyd returned to the Chargers lineup after missing 4 games (hip), totaling a team high 108 receiving yards and a touchdown. Floyd averaged 57.3 receiving yards and hauled in just 1 touchdown in 7 games prior to his injury.
  [+]
Ryan Mathews is averaging 124.5 rush yards per game on 17.5 carries over the last 2 weeks. He's hit the 100-yard mark in both of those games and is averaging 7.1 yards per rush.
  [+]
Philip Rivers struggled in his first 5 road games this season, throwing 6 touchdowns and 9 interceptions as the Chargers put up 22.8 points per game and stumbled to a 1-4 record. On Monday night against the Jaguars, Rivers turned in a strong performance, completing 78.6 percent of his passes for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions as the Chargers tied a season-high with 38 points.
  [+]

RiversPhilip Rivers had no issues Monday night passing from the shotgun against the Jaguars. Rivers completed 14 of 15 passes from the shotgun, including two touchdowns and no interceptions.

  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Blaine Gabbert had success on throws of fewer than 5 yards downfield, passing for 169 of his 195 yards. However, he struggled on passes longer than 5 yards, completing only three, and his longest completion traveled 7 yards in the air.
  [+]
NEXT LEVEL: Philip Rivers found his downfield touch against the Jaguars. Rivers completed 8 of 10 for 209 yards on passes 15 or more yards downfield, including three touchdowns
  [+]

MathewsMonday against the Jaguars, 105 of Ryan Mathews' 112 rushing yards came inside the tackles (a season high) and 59 of those yards came after first contact.

  [+]
Maurice Jones-Drew totaled 188 yards from scrimmage (97 rushing, 91 receiving) on Monday night, but it came in a Jaguars loss. Jones-Drew's performance was the most total yards from scrimmage for a running back in a loss this season. The previous high this season was Arian Foster's 184 total yards in the Texans' loss to the Raiders in Week 5. The last time a running back totaled more yards from scrimmage in a loss was Darren McFadden's 209 yards in the Raiders' loss to the Jaguars in Week 14 of the 2010 season.

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