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(Sunday, October 3rd)
Final Score: San Diego 41, Arizona 10
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers finished with 249 yards passing and two touchdowns to Antonio Gates on 16-of-21 completions as San Diego bolted past Arizona, 41-10, at Qualcomm Stadium.
Gates led all receivers with 144 yards on seven grabs, Mike Tolbert rushed for 100 yards and a score on 16 carries, and Ryan Mathews added a touchdown on the ground for the Chargers (2-2), who lost at Seattle last week and face the Raiders in Oakland next Sunday.
"I hope we haven't peaked, Week 4 at 2-2. We can get better," Rivers said. "Certainly, you win a game 41-10, we did a lot of good things. But realistically, we're going to be in fourth-quarter games just about every week. That's what this league is. We're going to be ready to handle it."
Kerry Rhodes' 42-yard fumble return was the lone touchdown for the Cardinals (2-2), who host New Orleans next Sunday.
Starter Derek Anderson was ineffective at 7-of-14 for 64 yards and two interceptions. Rookie Max Hall finished the game under center and was 8-of-14 for 82 yards.
"I don't know if there's ever a good time to go to a rookie quarterback, to be perfectly honest with you," said Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "I don't want to make a judgment based off of what I think happened today, because there's not a lot of things I think are very good."
Anderson was picked off by Steve Gregory on Arizona's first series of the contest, and the Chargers were set up on their own 11. Rivers capped the ensuing 89-yard march by hitting Gates on a 33-yard touchdown for the lone score of the first quarter.
Arizona responded early in the second as Rhodes picked up a Darren Sproles fumble and took it 42 yards to the end zone, but Tolbert's five-yard run gave the Chargers back the lead at 14-7 to finish off the next series.
Gates reached the end zone again on a 26-yard connection from Rivers, and Shaun Phillips picked off Anderson and raced 31 yards home to make it 28-7 for San Diego at the half.
The Chargers kept coming in the third quarter, exiting with a 38-7 advantage after a 48-yard field goal from Nate Kaeding and a 15-yard TD run from Mathews.
Kaeding nailed a 47-yarder early in the fourth to make it 41-7, and the Cards only responded with 3:17 to play when Jay Feely was good from 53 yards out.
It was the most decisive win for either club since the series began in 1971...This was the most points the Chargers scored on the Cardinals since a 43-24 win on September 26, 1976...San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman was inactive with a calf injury...San Diego racked up 419 yards of total offense, to 124 for Arizona...The Chargers have won seven of the last nine meetings with the Cardinals and have also taken six of the last seven over Arizona at home...The Cards finished 4-of-12 on third downs, while the Bolts converted 5-of-10 chances.
10/03 22:05:38 ET