- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2008

SAN DIEGO | Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson and the rest of the San Diego Chargers simply left no doubt.

Frustrated by two gut-wrenching losses, the Chargers raced past nemesis Brett Favre and the New York Jets for a 48-29 victory Monday night in a wild game befitting two original AFL teams.

Rivers threw three touchdown passes, Tomlinson scored his first two touchdowns of the season and San Diego finally got back at Favre after all these years. They sacked him four times and intercepted him twice, including a 52-yard return for a score by All-Pro cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Favre always seemed to come up big on Monday nights with Green Bay. This night, though, he finally lost to the Chargers after beating them five straight times dating to 1993.

San Diego (1-2) looked like the team picked by many to reach the Super Bowl. The Chargers lost their opener to Carolina on the last play, then lost by one point at Denver in a game remembered for referee Ed Hochuli’s blown call that set up the Broncos’ winning score.

Tomlinson scored on a pair of 2-yard leaps and finished with 67 yards on 26 carries.

Tomlinson had been slowed since jamming his right big toe toward the end of a loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 1, when he gained 97 yards on 21 carries. He was limited to 10 carries and 26 yards in a 39-38 loss at Denver, which no doubt had fantasy players deeply concerned, although it gave mighty mite Darren Sproles a chance to make some big plays.

Sproles finished with 38 yards on five carries.

Back to his normal role, Tomlinson scored to cap the opening drive of the second half and give the Chargers the 24-point lead.

The Chargers scored three times and the Jets once in a crazy span of 5:46 spanning the first and second quarters.

Rivers recovered from an early blunder to throw a 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie fullback Mike Tolbert for a 10-7 lead late with 2:03 left in the first quarter.

On the fourth play of the next Jets’ drive, Cromartie overpowered Laveranues Coles and took the ball away, racing 52 yards for a 17-7 lead.

Leon Washington returned the kickoff 94 yards to the San Diego 5. Two plays later, Favre hit Coles on a 3-yard touchdown pass to pull the Jets within 17-14.

Marques Harris recovered an onside kick for San Diego at the New York 44 to set up a 27-yard scoring pass from Rivers to Chris Chambers that made it 24-14 11:17 before halftime. Chambers celebrated by dunking the ball over the goal post.

Eric Weddle intercepted Favre to set up Rivers’ 6-yard scoring pass to tight end Antonio Gates for a 31-14 lead late in the second quarter.

The Jets, who split their first two games, were visiting San Diego for the first time since upsetting the Chargers in the playoffs following the 2004 season.

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