Rivers, Chargers pummel Cardinals after slow start
Philip Rivers threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns while also setting an NFL record for consecutive completions to start a game, and the Los Angeles Chargers overcame a double-digit deficit and rolled to a 45-10 victory Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals in Carson, Calif.
Rivers completed his first 25 pass attempts against the Cardinals, breaking the record of 22 set by the Washington Redskins' Mark Brunell in 2006. Rivers also tied the record for consecutive completions overall with Ryan Tannehill, who set his mark over consecutive games.
The Chargers found themselves in a 10-0 hole in the first quarter, after Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen connected with Larry Fitzgerald on a 25-yard TD pass and Phil Dawson kicked a 30-yard field goal.
Rivers led the Chargers (8-3) to 45 unanswered points from there, 28 coming in the second quarter alone.
Los Angeles' Austin Ekeler caught a career-high 10 passes for 68 yards, and Mike Williams caught two touchdown passes in the first half. Keenan Allen caught seven passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had two first-half rushing TDs and gained 61 yards on 10 carries, but he left in the third quarter and did not return after sustaining a right knee injury. The Chargers were running a reverse when Gordon was hit in the leg by Cardinals defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche.
Rivers finished 28 of 29 and was given the fourth quarter off after taking the Chargers on a 10-play, 73-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 2-yard Ekeler scoring run to cap the third quarter. Backup Geno Smith took over at quarterback for the Chargers.
Rivers also set a single-game record for completion rate at 96.6 percent (minimum 11 attempts). His only incompletion came late in the third quarter as he attempted a short pass over the middle to Ekeler. Rivers was hit as he threw.
Rosen, a Los Angeles-area native who attended UCLA, was 12 of 19 for 105 yards for the Cardinals (2-9) in his return home. He had an interception to go along with his TD pass.
Cardinals running back David Johnson carried the ball 17 times for 63 yards. Fitzgerald's TD catch in the first quarter was the 115th of his career.
The Chargers, who are 4-2 at home this season, rebounded from a 23-22 defeat to the Denver Broncos on Nov. 18. That loss ended Los Angeles' six-game winning streak.
--Field Level Media
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