Philip Rivers set NFL records for completion percentage and consecutive completions to start a game and tied the record for consecutive completions as the Los Angeles Chargers routed the Arizona Cardinals, 45-10, Sunday at StubHub Center.
Rivers completed 28-of-29 passes, 96.6 percent, breaking the previous record of 92.3 percent by Pro Football Hall of Fame member Kurt Warner, set in 2009 when he completed 24 of 26 passes for the Cardinals against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
At least 20 passes are required for a percentage record.
The 25 consecutive completions tied the overall record set in 2015 by Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill over two games.
“It was an efficient day … to say the least,” Rivers said. “We had those. There were so many guys today who were making the catches, the guys protecting. A lot goes into completing the ball, more than just me throwing it. It was a fun day, to say the least.”
Said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn: “There were some catches guys made, catching it on the right hip. They all contributed today, but you can’t say enough about Philip and what he did today because when you prepare the way he prepares, you’re going to have some days like this.”
Rivers threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns as the Chargers rebounded from a 23-22 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday to win for the seventh time in eight games, improving to 8-3, their best start since 2009.
Rivers threw 9- and 2-yard touchdown passes to Mike Williams in the second quarter and a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen in the third as the Chargers scored 45 unanswered points, including touchdowns on five consecutive possessions.
Rivers said he did not know he was 25-for-25 when he threw the touchdown pass to Allen.
“I did know that we hadn’t missed,” Rivers said.
Rivers has thrown two or more touchdown passes in 12 consecutive games dating back to last season, a team record.
Rivers is the fourth quarterback with multiple touchdown passes in the first 11 games of a season. The others are Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers in 2011, then-Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in 2004 and the late Johnny Unitas in 1959 with the Baltimore Colts.
Melvin Gordon ran for 61 yards on 10 carries, including 28- and 5-yard touchdowns in the second quarter before leaving the game in the third quarter because of a knee injury.
“His knee is swollen right now,” Lynn said after the game. “We don’t know exactly what it is. We’ll get a full evaluation tomorrow, and we’ll go from there.”
Austin Ekeler ran 2 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the third quarter and Michael Badgley kicked a 31-yard field goal with three minutes, 25 seconds remaining for the Chargers.
The Chargers outgained the Cardinals, 414 yards to 149, led 30-10 in first downs and 35:18-24:42 in time of possession before a crowd announced at 25,343.
The 45 unanswered points were the Chargers most since they also scored 45 in a 45-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 14, 1969.
The 149 yards allowed were the fewest since Dec. 12, 2010 when the Chargers allowed 67 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Arizona (2-9) scored on its first two possessions but did not score again. Former UCLA standout Josh Rosen concluded a nine-play, 76-yard drive following the opening kickoff by throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald.
Phil Dawson kicked a 30-yard field goal on the Cardinals next possession, increasing their lead to 10-0.
Rosen completed 12 of 19 passes for 105 yards and one touchdown with one interception.
When asked if this was an embarrassing loss, first-year Arizona coach Steve Wilks responded, “That’s definitely an understatement there. Definitely was embarrassing. Definitely wasn’t what we want. This organization, that team in that locker room, those players and coaches — we’ve got to do better.”
— City News Service
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