JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Short week. Cross-country flight. Early start. Bye week looming.
They avoided all of them. It surely helped that they faced what is shaping up as one of the worst teams in NFL history.
Jacksonville (0-7) has lost every game this season by double digits, becoming the first team since the 1984 Houston Oilers to garner that dubious distinction. The Oilers lost their first 10 games that year by at least 10 points.
"We talk about getting better and we completely missed an opportunity," Bradley said. "That's what not getting better looks like. Penalties, missed tackles, missed assignments, spirit, effort. We talk about playing with toughness, playing with effort, playing with enthusiasm and playing smart. That's our style. I don't think we did any one of those four today."
Everyone who's watched Jacksonville play this season knows it's a talent-based issue.
Rivers completed his first 14 passes, picking apart Jacksonville's defense with short throws and clock-eating drives. He finished 22-of-26 passing. Mathews topped the century mark for the second consecutive week.
About the only thing that went wrong for San Diego was a failed chance to score just before halftime. Rivers tried to run for the end zone with 7 seconds left on third down, but he was stopped short. That gave Jacksonville some momentum and a sliver of hope heading into the locker room.
It was short-lived.
"Philip is the wheels on our tank," tight end Antonio Gates said. "As long as he can continue to play the way he plays and the line continues to protect him like that, we're going to be just fine."
And they didn't miss a beat.
Mathews' 3-yard run with 14:08 remaining sent many of the Jacksonville faithful scrambling for the exits early -- again. The Jaguars have been outscored 89-11 in three home games.
Jacksonville was its own worst enemy.
Henne completed 23 of 36 passes for 318 yards, with an interception. He was sacked six times.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran nine times for 37 yards and declined to talk afterward. Shorts had eight receptions for 80 yards, but also dropped two slant passes in the end zone. Justin Blackmon caught six passes for 58 yards. The Jaguars had Jones-Drew, Shorts, Blackmon and tight Marcedes Lewis -- the team's top four playmakers -- in the lineup together for the first time this season.
It hardly changed the outcome.
San Diego, meanwhile, has consecutive wins for the first time this season.
"We're starting to build somewhat of an identity, a little bit of an attitude," Rivers said.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press