Chargers take 10-0 lead over Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Mathews ran through big holes, Mike Tolbert scored on a 13-yard run up the middle and the San Diego Chargers took a step toward ending their six-game losing streak Monday night with a 10-0 lead over the Jacksonville Jaguars after the first quarter.
Mathews already had 56 yards on six carries as the Chargers scored on their only two possessions. They had to settle for a 29-yard field goal by Nick Novak when a drive stalled at the 11-yard line.
The Jaguars (3-8) made their debut for interim coach Mel Tucker, and it was their first game after the most sweeping changes in the 17-year history of the franchise. Wayne Weaver fired Jack Del Rio last week, and announced he was selling the team to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.
Khan was not at the game, though several fans wore fake mustaches to mimic the owner-in-waiting. The $760 million deal still must be approved by the NFL later this month in Dallas.
If he was watching from home, Khan had reason to reconsider.
This new era looked much like the old one, relying on Maurice Jones-Drew, its lone offensive star who leads the AFC in rushing. He went nowhere against the Chargers, however, running three straight times in an opening drive that produced little. On the next drive, Blaine Gabbert was penalized for intentional grounding when he threw the ball at his linemen's feet on a fake reverse that didn't fool anyone.
The Jaguars, worst in the NFL in total offense, managed only 27 yards in the opening quarter.
Philip Rivers was 7 of 9 in mixing it up between Mathews' big runs — two for 14 yards, another run for 21 yards — and moved the Chargers without much effort.
The Chargers' six-game losing streak is their longest since they dropped nine straight games at the end of the 2002 season and beginning of 2003.