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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Blake Bortles had a rather harsh self-assessment of his first start for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"I know we lost so I don't know what's positive or not," Bortles said after winless Jacksonville failed to hold onto an early lead and fell 33-14 to Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
"I didn't play very well. I did some stupid things," said Bortles, the third pick in May's draft.
Bortles played well for the most part, especially in the first half. He threw one touchdown pass, was intercepted two times and twice had Jacksonville (0-4) in the lead early.
The Jaguars turned to Bortles at halftime of a blowout loss to Indianapolis a week ago. He was the fifth Jaguars QB to start a game during his rookie season. All five lost their first start.
Bortles was 29 of 37 for 253 yards against San Diego. He was intercepted by Brandon Flowers in the third quarter at the Jacksonville 40, setting up Nick Novak's 34-yard field goal for a 27-14 lead.
It was the fifth straight game the Jaguars lost by double digits dating to last season's finale. They've been outscored 152-58 this season.
"I left some throws out there and didn't make some plays," Bortles said. "I thought we had a decent first half and we have to continue to carry that over to the second half."
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley had a more positive assessment of Bortles.
"Efficiency was good; the decision-making was pretty good — just his overall poise and control and managing the huddle and taking control," he said. "I thought he did just a great job at that. There's no doubt he was ready for it."
Rivers certainly showed Bortles how it's done. The Chargers' veteran threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns, two to Eddie Royal.
Royal had scoring catches of 47 and 43 yards, his second straight two-touchdown game. The Chargers (3-1) extended their winning streak to three.
Passing with the Chargers' running game nonexistent because of injuries to Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead, Rivers had his second three-touchdown game of the season. He went 29 of 39.
Royal had five catches for 105 yards. Keenan Allen had 10 for 135, both career highs, and Malcom Floyd had a 24-yard touchdown reception.
Although the Chargers looked out of sync at times, Rivers helped keep it together.
After Toby Gerhart gave Jacksonville a 7-3 lead on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter — the Jaguars' first TD rushing since Nov. 24 — it took Rivers and the Chargers only five plays to answer. Rivers noticed linebacker Geno Hayes covering Royal, who got wide open for a 47-yard reception to put San Diego up 10-7.
Bortles then took advantage of a breakdown in coverage when he completed a 44-yard pass to Allen Hurns, who made a tumbling catch at the Chargers 2. Bortles found Nic Jacobs in the end zone on the next play.
Two drives later, Royal found a seam in coverage on third-and-10 from the 43, hauled in Rivers' pass and outran the coverage to put the Chargers ahead 17-14 a minute before halftime.
"We just gave up too many explosive plays," Bradley said. "A lot of them occurred on defense and third downs at critical times. And when we had a chance to make the plays, we didn't make them. Some of them were one-on-ones and others were critical coverages blown."
NOTES: Jacksonville CB Dwayne Gratz sustained a concussion midway through the second quarter. He was down for several minutes before getting up and walking off on his own power. He was taken straight to the locker room. ... Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts left with a hamstring injury. ... San Diego CB Shareece Wright hurt his knee.
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