Rivers completes 25 straight passes to tie mark

CARSON, Calif. — A follower and admirer of NFL records, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers now has one of his own.

With a 4-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen, Rivers tied the record of 25 consecutive completed passes Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Rivers went 25-of-25 for 224 yards to start the game, with three touchdown passes.

“He’s a baller, a Hall of Famer” said Chargers receiver Mike Williams, who finished with two touchdown catches. “He gives us opportunities, and he makes everything easier for us as receivers.”

However, Rivers’ attempt to break the record fell at the feet of running back Austin Ekeler midway through the third quarter, as Rivers was under pressure.

“I did know that we hadn’t missed, but I didn’t know where it was,” Rivers said. “I did know that that first miss was that little short throw to Ekeler of all things. It was an efficient day, to say the least. There were so many guys today who were making catches, and the guys protected up front.

“A lot goes into completing the ball, more than just me throwing it. It was a fun day, to say the least.”

Rivers shares the mark with Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who strung together 25 straight completions over a two-game period against the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans in 2015.

The record for consecutive completions to start a game was 22 by Mark Brunell in 2006.

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Rivers averaged just 4.6 air yards on his passes, but he did have two completions of 20-plus yards.

Rivers threw 24 of his 25 completions from within the pocket.

He finished the day 28-of-29 passing for 259 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters before being lifted for backup Geno Smith with Los Angeles comfortably leading Arizona 42-10.

The Chargers would go on to win by a score of 45-10, improving to 8-3.

Rivers also set the NFL record for the highest completion percentage in a game (96.6 percent; minimum 20 passes).

“You can’t say enough about Philip and what he did today, because when you prepare the way he prepares, you’re going to have some days like this,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said.

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