Bolts Run Away from Jaguars

San Diego sent a loud message to the NFL: the Chargers are as dangerous as ever. Philip Rivers threw for 334 yards and three scores and the defense forced six turnovers as the Chargers trounced the Jaguars, 38-13.

It's amazing the Chargers sailed to such a comfortable win given the way the game started. San Diego turned the ball over on three of its first five possessions. Two of those turnovers were Philip Rivers interceptions -- although Antonio Gates and Legedu Naanee must share the blame for those, respectively -- and the third was the second lost fumble by Ryan Mathews in as many weeks.

Mathews left the game after spraining his ankle late in the first quarter. He did not return but should be able to play next week against the Seattle Seahawks. Mathews' abbreviated day resulted in five carries for 26 yards (5.2 ypc).

Mathews was not the only Charger with a gaudy rushing average. Mike Tolbert ran 16 times for 82 yards (5.13 ypc) and two scores and Darren Sproles ran five times for 37 yards (7.4 ypc). Sproles' big plays included a 34-yard run out of the wildcat formation and a 43-yard catch-and-run that set up a score just before halftime.


WR Malcom Floyd
Stephen Dunn/Getty
While the running game was efficient, the passing game was explosive. Gates scored career TDs No. 61 and 62; Malcom Floyd scored a 54-yard TD as part of a 95-yard day; and Buster Davis chipped in five receptions for 48 yards.

The offense made a lot of fantasy football players happy, but it was the defense that won the day. Central to that effort were Brandon Siler, who was filling in for Stephen Cooper (knee), and Antoine Cason. Siler intercepted one pass and hit David Garrard as he was throwing to set up another. Cason thieved two passes and forced a fumble.

The Jaguars finished with 350 total net yards, but most of those game once the game was already out of hand – Jacksonville had just 107 total net yards in the first half, including 20 on the ground.

The special teams were much better after a disastrous performance in Week 1 in Kansas City, although Mike Scifres had a punt blocked for just the second time in his career. He was working with newly acquired long snapper Ryan Neill, although Neill's snap was good -- Kris Wilson's block was not.

Nonetheless, the miscue did little to dampen the euphoria of a 25-point victory.

Lightning Quicks

--Kassim Osgood, making his return to San Diego, recovered the blocked punt. However, he failed to catch a pass.

--Patrick Crayton made his first catch as a Charger, good for 15 yards.

--Shawne Merriman made his debut and recorded three tackles and no sacks.

--Kevin Burnett collected his second career interception on a play where Siler leveled Garrard as he was throwing.

--Antwan Applewhite stripped the ball from Maurice Jones-Drew in the third quarter. Paul Oliver came up with the recovery.

--Jacques Cesaire recorded his first sack of the season. So did Larry English, although he split credit for his sack with Eric Weddle.

--Steve Gregory led all players with 13 total tackles.



What are Chargers fans saying of Sunday's win? Find out in the message boards.




Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


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