Jacksonville Sports Day

NFL: Rivers Carves Up Jacksonville Jaguars in 38-14 Blowout

Photo by Rick Wilson/Jacksonville Jaguars

The San Diego Chargers led Jacksonville by three touchdowns just over five minutes into the second quarter and never looked back in a 38-14 blowout of the Jaguars Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

“I think you have to put that on me,” Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley said. “You just can’t show up and play well. Obviously, it’s not one of our better showings.

Quarterback Philip Rivers tied his career high with four touchdown passes, running back Melvin Gordon enjoyed the first 100-yard game of his career and the defense kept Jacksonville (0-2) out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.

“We finished, that was the big thing,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy said. “We understood the situation we put ourselves in, but we had to move on. We were focused and dialed in.”

San Diego (1-1) owned both sides of the scrimmage line. It outrushed the Jaguars 150-69, possessing the ball for nearly 35 minutes, and made Jacksonville a one-dimensional offense before the first half ended.

Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram recorded two sacks of QB Blake Bortles, forced a fumble and drew at least two penalties.  Bortles committing three turnovers while his teammates were flagged 13 times for 93 yards.

Bortles completed 31 of 50 passes for 329 yards and threw touchdown passes of 4 and 15 yards to Marcedes Lewis and Corey Grant in the fourth quarter to avoid a shutout.

“Pretty embarrassing,” Bortles said. “The majority of the locker room is sick and tired of this feeling. It’s up to us to do something about it.”

San Diego set the tone with its first drive. It marched 75 yards on nine plays, sticking mostly to running plays, and finished the drive with a 3-yard run from Gordon for a 7-0 lead at the 10:17 mark.

The Chargers made it 21-0 with two touchdowns in less than five minutes of the second quarter. Rivers hit Travis Benjamin with a 6-yard scoring pass on the quarter’s first play, then found favorite target Antonio Gates for a 2-yard touchdown at the 9:58 mark.
“It was eerily similar (to last week’s loss),” Rivers said. “We saw this team respond. We know what we’re about.”
San Diego wouldn’t blow this big lead. Rivers hooked up with wide receiver Tyrell Williams for a 44-yard catch-and-run score at the 11:06 mark of the third quarter.

Rivers then capped his 17-of-24, 220-yard afternoon with a 45-yard bomb to Benjamin with 2:57 remaining, upping the advantage to 35-0 and ending the game’s competitive phase.

“We know our offensive is explosive,” said Benjamin, who finished with 115 yards on six catches. “With our personnel and the things we do on offense, we can’t be stopped.”

Gordon is adding another dimension the Chargers didn’t enjoy last year. After an injury and fumble-plagued rookie year in 2015, Gordon is displaying more power to go with game-breaking speed, rushing for 102 yards on 24 attempts.

“He’s a punishing runner right now,” McCoy said of Gordon. “But I think Melvin would tell you the same thing – that it’s not Melvin Gordon, but 11 guys in the running game, playing like a unit.”


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