Oct 5, 2014 7:45 PM
Rivers, Chargers race past hapless Jets, 31-0
The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO (AP) There appears to be no stopping Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates and the rest of the San Diego Chargers.
The New York Jets, meanwhile, are simply a mess.
Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and rookie running back Branden Oliver's big day included his first two NFL touchdowns as the Chargers beat the hapless Jets 31-0 Sunday for their fourth straight win.
The Chargers (4-1) heaped more pain on the Jets (1-4), who lost their fourth straight game and turned to Michael Vick. Vick replaced Geno Smith on New York's first possession of the second half, but wasn't any more effective.
Other than being sacked three times, Rivers had his way with the Jets. He was 20 of 28 for 288 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
The Chargers' last shutout victory was 31-0 against Kansas City on Dec. 12, 2010. The Jets were blanked for the first time since losing 34-0 against San Francisco on Sept. 30, 2012.
New York didn't make it across the 50-yard line until 7:35 left in the fourth quarter, thanks to a 33-yard gain on a pass interference call against Richard Marshall. The Jets had only four first downs through three quarters.
Vick was sacked on his second play. In the fourth quarter, Vick was called for intentional grounding on one drive and later was whistled for throwing a pass while beyond the line of scrimmage, negating a touchdown catch by Greg Salas. That left the Jets with fourth-and-goal from the 16 and Vick's completion was short.
Rivers threw scoring passes of 8 and 12 yards to Gates in the first half. They've combined for 65 touchdowns, the most in NFL history between a quarterback and a tight end. They were Gates' first scores since he caught three touchdown passes in a 30-21 upset victory against Seattle in Week 2.
On third-and-17 from the San Diego 27 late in the second quarter, Rivers avoided a sack and threw a short pass to Oliver, who made two Jets defenders miss before he was finally brought down by David Harris at the Jets 23. Branden scored on a 15-yard run up the middle three plays later.
Oliver had a 9-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter on a drive he kept going with a 52-yard run.
Oliver, a free agent from Buffalo, ran 19 times for 114 yards and caught four passes for 68 yards.
Oliver came up big on a day when the Chargers lost yet another running back. Donald Brown was knocked out of the game with a concussion in the first half. The Chargers already have lost Danny Woodhead for the season with a broken lower right leg and Ryan Mathews indefinitely with a sprained right knee.
Smith completed only 4 of 12 passes for 27 yards with one interception for a rating of 7.6. Vick was 9 of 20 for 47 yards.
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