JACKSONVILLE – Philip Rivers quietly has been one of the NFL's best quarterbacks this season. He wasn't particularly quiet or loud Sunday, just really, really efficient.
That was more than enough.
Rivers, the San Diego Chargers' 10-year veteran quarterback, completed his first 14 passes, and finished the game completing 22 of 26 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown to lead the Chargers to a 24-6 victory over the Jaguars in front of 59,550 at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon.
The Chargers improved to 4-3 with the victory, with the Jaguars falling to 0-7.
Jacksonville has been outscored 89-11 at home this season.
Chad Henne, making a second consecutive start at quarterback for the Jaguars, completed 23 of 36 passes for 318 yards and no touchdowns with an interception for an offense that moved well at times but couldn't convert enough opportunities.
The Chargers dominated the first half, taking a 14-3 lead into the second half that could have been wider.
With Rivers working efficiently, running back Danny Woodhead's 2-yard run capped a 13-play, 80-yard drive on the game's first possession and Rivers threw 27 yards to wide receiver Eddie Royal to finish off a 10-play, 80-yard drive on the Chargers' second possession.
Royal's touchdown made it, 14-0, with 12:36 remaining in the half.
At that time, the Jaguars had two first downs, 29 yards and 3:39 possession time.
The Jaguars actually moved the ball efficiently much of the first half, but with Rivers completing 15 of 17 passes, Jacksonville had just two drives. The Jaguars registered two first downs on their first drive, but turned in their longest drive of the season in the second quarter.
That drive covered 68 yards and used 18 plays, with a 30-yard field goal by Josh Scobee making it 14-3, San Diego.
The Chargers had a chance to extend the lead late in the half, driving from their 20 to the Jaguars 1. But Rivers scrambled toward the goal line on the half's last play and was stopped short by Sen'Derrick Marks. The clock ran out to end the half with San Diego leading, 14-3.
San Diego extended the lead to 17-3 with a 20-yard field goal by Nick Novak with just under seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Scobee cut the Chargers' lead to 17-6 with a 23-yard field goal by Scobee with 3:54 remaining in the third quarter, but Chargers running back Ryan Mathews' 3-yard fourth-quarter run secured the victory.
This actually was most of the first half. The Jaguars moved relatively effectively, but the Chargers kept the ball so long – and did enough with it – that it didn't matter. The Chargers dominated possession time and their two 80-yard drives to start the game gave them a 14-0 lead that the Jaguars never cut below double digits.
- Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III played through a sprained SC joint, and though he left the game briefly in the first half, he played the entire game and caught eight passes for passes for 80 yards.
- Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon caught six passes for 58 yards after catching 14 for 190 yards against the Broncos last week. The Chargers rolled coverage to Blackmon's side much of the game, and doubled him when the Jaguars were in the red zone.
- Tight end Marcedes Lewis gave the Jaguars an instant boost in his first significant action of the season. Lewis, an eight-year veteran who missed five of the first six games, caught a 31-yard pass on the Jaguars' first drive. He broke a tackle on the play, which gave the Jaguars a first down at the Chargers 29. That was Lewis' lone catch of the game.
- Jaguars wide receiver Mike Brown caught five passes for 120 yards.
LOOKING ON . . .
*The defense for a second consecutive week hurt itself early with a costly penalty. On Sunday, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks gave the Chargers a first down on what would have been a 3rd-and-31 situation. The Chargers turned the drive into a 27-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Royal to take a 14-0 lead. Last week, the Broncos turned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on defensive end Andre Branch into their second touchdown en route to 35-19 victory.
*The Jaguars' offense actually moved relatively efficiently in the first half, producing first downs on each drive. The problem was they only had two possessions, with the Chargers driving 80, 80 and 79 yards on drives of 7:38, 6:08 and 4:50.
The Jaguars reported no immediate significant injuries Sunday, with Shorts, Blackmon and cornerback Dwayne Gratz all playing after being questionable this week.
Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders (concussion), defensive end Jeremy Mincey (concussion), wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion), quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hamstring) all were declared inactive before the game.
Cornerback Jamell Fleming, offensive tackle DeMarcus Love and guard Jacques McClendon were
Lewis (calf) and Gratz (ankle) each returned after missing five of the first six games.