Chargers-Jaguars: Bolts Rout Jacksonville 38-13 Behind Six Turnovers
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As good as Philip Rivers was, the San Diego Chargers' defense was even better.
The Chargers intercepted Jaguars quarterback David Garrard four times and forced two fumbles to cause a franchise-worst six turnovers for Jacksonville.
Rivers responded from two early interceptions of his own to throw for 334 yards and three touchdowns as San Diego (1-1) bounced back from an embarrassing 21-14 loss in Kansas City Monday night.
San Diego fans took a collective deep breath when rookie running back Ryan Mathews had to be helped off the field in the first quarter after hurting his ankle at the end of a three-yard run. He jogged out of the locker room and back to the bench in the second quarter but did not return to the game.
With his primary target, wide receiver Vincent Jackson, suspended and holding out, there is no doubt who Rivers' favorite option is.
Rivers threw touchdown passes of nine and four yards to tight end Antonio Gates in the first half. Gates finished with five catches for 57 yards.
Rivers also connected with Malcom Floyd on a 54-yarder in the fourth quarter to put the Chargers ahead 38-6.
Rivers completed 22 of 29 passes with two interceptions. It was his 16th career 300-yard day.
Mike Tolbert and Darren Sproles filled in admirably for Mathews in the backfield.
Tolbert scored two touchdowns with 82 yards on 16 carries, while Sproles had 100 total yards and had four catches.
Antoine Cason had two interceptions for San Diego, while Brandon Siler and Kevin Burnett each had one. Cason also forced a fumble by Mike Sims-Walker that Burnett recovered. Antwan Applewhite forced a fumble by Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew that Paul Oliver recovered.
The Chargers completely shut down Jones-Drew. He rushed for 31 yards on 12 carries with a long of seven yards.
Jacksonville got its only touchdown with 37 seconds to play, a three-yard pass from Garrard to Sims-Walker. Josh Scobee kicked field goals of 44 and 48 yards.
Trade talks are beginning to heat up with the Minnesota Vikings about the disgruntled Vincent Jackson.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that the Vikings (0-2) are expected to convene either Sunday night or Monday on whether to make a serious play for Jackson.
Under a settlement reached Thursday, Jackson has to sit out the first four games of the season under suspension—instead of six—if he is traded by the Chargers to a new team by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Jackson wants a contract that will average $9.5 million per year and contain $30 million in guaranteed money. If the Vikings are willing to pay that amount, the Chargers are expected to ask for two draft picks, one of them at least a second-rounder.
Unable to sell the remaining 8,000 tickets for this weekend, the game at Qualcomm Stadium was blacked out in virtually all of Southern California.
All four AFC West teams won on Sunday, leaving the Chargers in a three-way tie for second behind Kansas City (2-0).
The Chargers travel to Qwest Field to take on the Seattle Seahawks (1-1) next Sunday at 1:15.
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