The Chargers finally got back in the "W" column in Jacksonville, where they beat the Jaguars 31-25 and had one of their more productive games as an offense. Here are some of the big moments:
FINALLY, A WIN
It’s hard to believe, but the last time the Chargers won a game was October 4, when kicker Josh Lambo converted a game-winning field goal to beat the Browns, 30-27.
It’s been a long drought since, but Sunday, the Chargers snapped a six-game losing streak in Jacksonville to get their third victory of the season. It was a much-needed change of pace for this team.
Earlier this week, quarterback Philip Rivers said that if the Chargers found a way to win, they would embrace the single victory.
"It will be OK, if we go find a way to win this game, to be excited and to be fired up for winning a football game," Rivers said. "We always talk about [how] it’s hard to win in this league, and we’ve certainly lived that, how hard it is, because we haven’t done it … Let’s find a way to win it, and let’s have a heck of a time in the locker room and the ride home and be excited about just winning and see if we can start to build that. It’s contagious. Losing is, too. Let’s be excited about playing this one as if it’s our only one left.”
San Diego is now 3-8.
WELCOME BACK, M80
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd practiced this week for the first time since injuring his shoulder against the Bears in Week Nine. Floyd was sidelined for the Chiefs game but played against the Jaguars, catching his first pass in the third quarter for 12 yards.
It would be Floyd’s only catch of the game, but considering the severity of the injury – a torn labrum -- the fact that he is even on the field is of highest importance.
TD … YES, PLEASE
Coming into this game, the Chargers hadn’t scored a touchdown since before the bye week, when they lost to the Bears in a Monday night game. They were held to only a field goal in their loss to the Chiefs last Sunday, which resulted in a 33-3 score.
It had been an eight-quarter drought … So, that first touchdown in Jacksonville was a welcome one.
Rivers hit wide receiver Dontrelle Inman on a two-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, to put the Chargers on the board and in the lead, 7-6. The score came after a seven-play, 63 yard drive that took only 1:37 off the clock.
The Chargers put four touchdowns on the board in total, all from Rivers to a receiver: Besides Inman, tight end Antonio Gates had two in the second quarter and WR Stevie Johnson caught one in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers have not had a rushing touchdown since Week One against Detroit.
Rivers completed 29 of 43 attempts, notching 300 yards and four touchdowns. He is tied with Vinny Testaverde (275) for 11th-most career touchdown passes in NFL history.
Johnson had his best game as a Charger, with 92 receiving yards and one touchown.
Running back Melvin Gordon has not had the rookie season he hoped for, with his best game coming in Week Two against the Bengals, when he rushed for 88 yards.
Against the Jaguars, Gordon finished with his second-most productive game of the season: 60 yards on 14 attempts, his longest gain being 14 yards.
Gordon also notched 20 yards on five receptions. He is still without a touchdown for the season.
BIG PLAYS BY DEFENSE
Big plays plagued the Chargers defense early, as has been the case all season. In the first five possessions for the Jaguars, the Chargers allowed gains of 20, 21, 24, 25, 29, among others.
Although Jaguars QB Blake Bortles and his offense easily marched down the field throughout most of the game, they were less successful in the red zone, where they were held to five consecutive field goals through three quarters. The Jaguars’ first touchdown came in the fourth quarter.
San Diego’s defense has struggled to make big plays of their own all season, but linebacker Manti Te'o snagged an interception off Bortles before halftime, which gave the Chargers a short field and allowed Rivers to find Gates for a second consecutive touchdown. It was the second career interception for Te’o, who found his first last December against Tom Brady.
(Side note: The drive that resulted from the interception was the first the Chargers started this season beyond their own 40.)
Besides Te'o, rookie inside linebacker Denzel Perryman and safety Jahleel Addae both had strong games as well, finishing with team-high tackle counts (seven and five, respectively).
RETURN THAT PUNT
The Chargers entered the game in Jacksonville with one punt-return yard for the season. Yes, one.
Receiver Javontee Herndon -- who has taken over returning duties since Jacoby Jones was cut (and muffed a punt last week) -- had returns of 15- and 18-yards against the Jaguars Sunday.
SPEAKING OF PUNTS …
The Jaguars kept fighting until the end. Down two scores with under two minutes left in the game, Jacksonville blocked a punt and on the ensuing drive, scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 31-25 with 1:21 left.
The Jaguars tried an onside kick but did not get it. WR Stevie Johnson batted the ball out of bounds, and the Chargers ran out the clock to end the game.