Chargers beat up McElroy to storm past Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- San Diego sacked Greg McElroy 11 times, ruining the New York Jets quarterback's first NFL start, and Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes in the Chargers' 27-17 victory Sunday.

McElroy, the third-stringer who was starting for the benched Mark Sanchez, moved the offense for the Jets (6-9) early but faced pressure all game.

With a chance to get New York back into it with less than 5 minutes remaining, McElroy was sacked by Shaun Phillips and lost the ball. Phillips recovered and the Chargers sealed the win.

With most of the pregame drama centered around whether Sanchez or Tim Tebow would back up McElroy -- it was both -- Rivers made long touchdown tosses of 37 yards to Danario Alexander and 34 yards to Antonio Gates to lead the Chargers (6-9).

It was Gates' 82nd touchdown catch, snapping a tie with Lance Alworth for the franchise lead.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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