SAN DIEGO (AP) – Vincent Jackson had a career-high three touchdown catches, Philip Rivers surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the third straight season and the San Diego Chargers beat Alex Smith and the San Francisco 49ers 34-7 on Thursday night to stay alive in the AFC West race.
The Chargers (8-6) pulled within a half-game of division leader Kansas City (8-5), which lost 31-0 at San Diego on Sunday.
The Chargers came within 4:26 of having consecutive shutouts for the first time in their 51-year history.
Jackson had his first three TD grabs of the season, of 58, 11 and 21 yards. Jackson missed the first 10 games due to a bitter contract dispute.
The 49ers (5-9) could wind up 7-9 and in a three-way tie and still win the NFC West, the NFL’s weakest division.
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