At the very least one conclusion could be made about the Jacksonville Jaguars-San Diego Chargers game at Qualcomm Stadium Sunday afternoon: Philip Rivers is not overrated despite the naysayers. A second one could be made about the Jaguars’ usually reliable David Garrard: Back to the drawing board.
The Chargers efensive line made things unbearable for Garrard as he threw four interceptions while Rivers had time in the pocket and connected on three touchdowns, allowing San Diego to easily dispose of Jacksonville 38-14.
Things didn’t look good initially as San Diego rookie running back Ryan Matthews had to leave the game in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle; he would not return. Fortunately, X-rays were negative.
Turnovers dogged Jacksonville as a blocked punt, followed by Antoine Cason’s interception, set up a Rivers-to-Antonio Gates score, allowing San Diego to take a 14-3 lead.
The third and fourth quarters would find the Chargers scoring 17 unanswered points – a 41-yard Nate Kaeding field goal followed by a Mike Tollbert 1-yard TD run and a Rivers-to Malcom Floyd 54-yard strike – and subsequently salting away the game.
Rivers had his usual good effort as he went 22-of-29 for 334 yards with three TDs while Garrard fared much worse, going 15-of-23 for 173 yards with a TD and 4 interceptions. Luke McCown replaced Garrard for a stretch of the game, going 11-of-19 for 120 yards.
Mike Tolbert led the Chargers rushing attack with 82 yards on 16 carries and two TDs while Rashad Jennings led the Jaguars rushers with 38 yards on 9 carries and catching 4 passes for 50 yards.
Floyd led the Chargers receivers with 3 receptions for 95 yards and a score while Darren Sproles caught 4 for 63 yards; Antonio Gates chipped in with 5 recepitons for 57 yards and a pair of scores. Mike Sims-Walker led all Jaguars receivers with 10 receptions for 105 yards and a TD while Marcedes Lewis grabbed 5 for 70 yards.
San Diego (1-1) will now travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks next Sunday afternoon while Jacksonville (1-1) returns home to host the Philadelphia Eagles – also next Sunday.