Antonio Gates broke three tackles off a short slant pass on the Chargers opening drive and Eric Parker threw a key block down the field to allow Gates to run in for the touchdown, a 57-yard score – the longest pass in Philip Rivers' career.
Frank Gore ripped off a 22-yard run – the longest run of the season against San Diego – coupled with a late hit on Terrence Kiel put San Francisco inside the red zone. Alex Smith followed the long run by hitting Bryan Gilmore for a 15-yard touchdown to tie the score at 7-7 with just six minutes gone in the first quarter.
A pitch to LaDainian Tomlinson for his fourth rushing touchdown of the season capped a 91-yard drive on the Bolts' second possession. With the score, Tomlinson's 84th career touchdown, he passed Lance Alworth to set a new Chargers record for touchdowns in a career. Rivers was 4-for-4 for 39 yards on the drive.
Joe Nedney booted one through from 42 yards out to close the gap to four points.
After Sammy Davis came out of the game and rookie Marcus Hudson came in as his replacement, the Bolts attacked the newcomer with Rivers hitting Vincent Jackson for a 33-yard touchdown and 21-10 lead. It was the second pass of the drive that traversed 25-plus yards.
A pass interference call on Davis would cost the Niners 41 yards and subsequent pass interference penalty in th end zone on the next play would give the Bolts the ball on the one-yard line. Tomlinson would stroll in from a yard out to give San Diego an 18 point lead.
San Francisco quickly found themselves back in the end zone. Smith hit Moran Norris in the front corner of the end zone to make the score 28-17.
Rivers would then be called for intentional grounding in the end zone, giving the Niners two points.
Luis Castillo picked off a Smith pass to give San Diego the ball at the San Francisco 35-yard line. The Chargers would turn the pick into seven points with Tomlinson's third touchdown of the game. It put the Bolts up 35-19 heading into halftime.
Nate Kaeding hit home with a 24-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 44-yarder in the fourth quarter to push the lead to 41-19.
Tomlinson would add his fourth rushing touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, matching a franchise record, and providing the final margin of victory.