When both your first and second-string left tackles leave a game with injuries, you know your team is going to struggle, that is, unless your team is playing the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Quarterback Philip Rivers and the 4-3 San Diego Chargers didn’t seem to miss their left tackles as they handedly defeated the winless Jags 24-6 on the road.
Considered a potential trap game for the Bolts, it was really never really close. Rivers, expecting the birth of his seventh child, could not be stopped, going 22-of-26 for 286 yards and a touchdown, despite losing both starting left tackle King Dunlap and backup Mike Remmers early in the game. Tight end Antonio Gates lead the team with six receptions and wide receiver Eddie Royal continued his strong year with 69 yards and touchdown. Rookie wide receiver Keenan Allen, who was voted the Offensive Rookie of the Week this last week, continued to be a playmaker for Rivers, averaging 22.3 a catch in the game.
The running game also continued to show the same consistency this week as it did last Monday against the Indianapolis Colts. Running back Ryan Matthews carried the ball 21 times for 110 yards and touchdown. Running back Danny Woodwood added 29 yards and a touchdown of his own, along with 47 yards in the passing game.
San Diego’s much maligned defense also had one of its best performances of the year. Journeyman linebacker Thomas Keiser, playing for the injured Dwight Freeney, had two of San Diego’s six sacks on Jacksonville quarterback Chad Henne. Safety Marcus Gilchrist also picked off a Henne pass in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, for Jacksonville, the story continued to be the same. Henne was 22-of-36 for 318, but failed to take advantage of opportunities. Twice the Jags failed to score touchdowns in the red zone, instead settling for two field goals, there only points in the game. The Jacksonville offense also failed to convert on a 4th-and-1 on San Diego’s 22-yard line with less than 10 minutes left in the game. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew continued his disappointing season, carrying the ball nine times for only 37 yards. Jacksonville wide receiver Mike Brown lead the team with 120 yards receiving.
On defense, the Jaguars did prevent the Rivers from scoring on a quarterback sneak from 1-yard out to end the first half, but otherwise did little to stop the Chargers on offense, only producing one sack and three quarterback hits on Rivers, despite the Chargers losing two left tackles in the game.