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Chargers 24, Jaguars 6

The SportsXchange

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Riding a near-perfect passing performance by Philip Rivers, the San Diego Chargers will head to their bye week above .500 for the first time this season after becoming the latest NFL team to whip the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, 24-6.

The Chargers (4-3) had been alternating wins and losses since Week 1, but they found the cure for that inconsistency Sunday: a matchup against the winless Jaguars, who are now off to a franchise-worst 0-7 start and remained one of the league's two teams without a victory along with the New York Giants. The Jags, who have the league's second-worst scoring offense, managed just two Josh Scobee field goals.

Rivers, who came into the game second in the NFL with 14 touchdown throws, added one more to that total Sunday when he went 22-for-26 passing for 285 yards. The 10th-year pro started the game 14-for-14 through the air for 137 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal. Rivers didn't throw his first incompletion until there was 53 seconds left before halftime.

Royal finished with 69 yards on four catches, and Kennan Allen followed up his AFC Rookie of the Week award -- for his 100-yard receiving game in San Diego's 19-9 primetime win against the Indianapolis Colts last week -- by hauling in three balls for 67 yards Sunday.

Danny Woodhead opened the scoring with a 3-yard dive in the first quarter, while fellow Chargers running back Ryan Mathews, who left early with a concussion in their win last week, showed no ill-effects and turned out a team-high 110 yards on 21 carries and a 3-yard rushing score of his own. San Diego's defense was just as dominant, sacking Jags quarterback Chad Henne six times and holding Jacksonville's woeful offense to just 353 total yards -- a third of which was gained on the final drive with the game well in hand.

San Diego's defense was led by three players (Eric Weddle, Larry English and Andrew Gachkar) with five tackles each, and linebacker Thomas Keiser notched two sacks.

Henne, filling in for injured starter Blaine Gabbert for the second consecutive week, did his best to follow up last week's season-high 303-yard performance against Denver. Henne finished 23-for-36 passing for 318 yards and a pick, and he was unable to get star receiver Justin Blackmon involved. Blackmon, playing in his third game since returning from a four-game suspension to start the season, was held to 58 yards on six catches after recording 19 receptions for 326 yards in the last two weeks -- the best numbers of any NFL wideout during that span. Jacksonville's leading wide receiver on Sunday was rookie Mike Brown with five catches for 120 yards.

Scobee accounted for Jacksonville's only points on kicks of 30 and 23 yards and moved to a perfect 9-for-9 on the year, and the defense was paced once again by leading tackler Paul Posluszny, who tallied 14 total stops. But Jags star running back Maurice Jones-Drew -- once an offensive machine -- remained in a downward spiral.

The NFL's 2011 rushing champ, who missed most of last season injured, continued his streak of failing to break the 100-yard mark -- a span of 10 games dating back to last season -- when he ran for just 37 yards on nine carries Sunday. Jones-Drew, who is averaging just 2.9 yards a carry this year, still hasn't topped 71 yards in any of the Jags' first six games and was unable to take advantage of San Diego's 29th-ranked rushing defense in the loss.

The Chargers' offensive line suffered two significant injuries in the win. Starting tackle Mike Remmers was carted off the field with an apparent leg injury early in the second quarter, while fellow starting tackle King Dunlap was diagnosed with a concussion in the first quarter. Neither returned to the game.

NOTES: Jacksonville technically has a home game next week against San Francisco, but the contest will be played in London. It will be the Jags' first trip in franchise history across the pond to take part in the NFL's overseas schedule of games. The Chargers are on a bye next week before traveling to Washington to face the Redskins on Nov.3. ... San Diego, which leads the all-time series 4-2 after Sunday's win, has won three straight and four of its last five meetings against Jacksonville, which has now lost all six of its games this season by double-digits. ... In conjunction with the NFL's month-long initiative "Crucial Catch" campaign to support breast cancer awareness, the Jags distributed pink ribbons to fans Sunday and did their part this week with a series of fundraisers that resulted in a check being presented to the American Cancer Society before the game.
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