Philip Rivers tied the NFL record for consecutive completions and set marks for the most to start a game and the highest percentage in a game as the Los Angeles Chargers rolled to a 45-10 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The 15-year veteran completed his first 25 passes and was 28 of 29 for 259 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters. It was also his 11th straight game with multiple TD passes.
Rivers completed 25 straight passes in the first 2½ quarters, tying Ryan Tannehill’s mark from 2015. The Dolphins QB completed his last seven passes against the Tennessee Titans in on Oct. 18, 2015, and then his first 18 the following week against the Houston Texans.
Rivers tied the mark with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen midway through the third quarter. He had his only incompletion on the next possession when he was rushed and was unable to connect on a short pass to Austin Ekeler.
Rivers did break Mark Brunell’s record for most completions to start a game. Brunell had 22 straight for the Washington Redskins against the Houston Texans on Sept. 24, 2006. Rivers’ 96.8 percent accuracy surpassed Kurt Warner’s 92.3 percent, which was set in 2009 when he went 24 of 26 for Arizona against Jacksonville.
The Cardinals (2-9) jumped out to a 10-0 lead with scores on their first two possessions before the Chargers (8-3) scored touchdowns on six of seven possessions.
Mike Williams and Melvin Gordon each had two touchdowns while Ekeler and Allen also scored. Gordon, who came into the game sixth in the league in rushing, had 61 yards on 10 carries before suffering a knee injury during the third quarter.
Ekeler accounted for 103 yards from scrimmage (35 rushing, 68 receiving).
Josh Rosen, who grew up nearby in Manhattan Beach and played at UCLA, was 12 of 19 for 105 yards with a touchdown and interception. David Johnson had 17 carries for 63 yards.
Arizona took the opening kickoff and took the lead when Larry Fitzgerald caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Rosen. It was his first career catch in StubHub center, the 41st different stadium where Fitzgerald has a reception. The Cardinals extended the lead on a 30-yard field goal by Phil Dawson.
The Chargers seized momentum with a 28-point second quarter. Williams drew Los Angeles within 10-7 with a 9-yard catch in the corner of the end zone less than a minute into the quarter, and Gordon gave them the lead seven minutes later on a 28-yard run.
Gordon capitalized on Derwin James’ interception with a 5-yard TD, and Williams added his second score when he caught a 2-yard pass from Rivers with 16 seconds left in the half.
Rivers was 19 of 19 in the first half for 187 yards. According to SportRadar, the last perfect first half with 15 or more attempts was by Warren Moon, who went 16 of 16 for Seattle against Oakland on Nov. 1, 1998.
Cardinals: Linebacker Josh Bynes suffered a thumb injury during the second quarter.
Chargers: Gordon did not return after his knee injury.
Cardinals: Return home to face Green Bay next Sunday.
Chargers: Travel to Pittsburgh next Sunday for a prime-time game.
Source: The Associated Press