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Philip Rivers has a history of torching Jaguars; Gus Bradley calls him 'phenomenal'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Despite injuries and suspensions to his top pass catchers, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is having a monster season.

He is on pace to break all of the franchise’s season passing records, and leads the NFL in completions and attempts and is second in yards. He’s thrown 19 touchdown passes and had games in which he has thrown for 403 and 503 yards.

That’s not a good thing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who play host to the Chargers at EverBank Field on Sunday. Rivers already has a history of putting up big-time numbers when the teams play.

"I tell you what, the guy is phenomenal," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. "I think what’s been impressive with him is that they’ve had some injuries at the wideout spot, tight-end spot and he still stays the same -- very, very productive.

"He’s playing at a high, high, high level and regardless of who’s in there he makes that offense go."

Rivers has had little trouble doing the same against the Jaguars. He has thrown for 1,599 yards and 11 touchdowns with four interceptions in five meetings. He has completed 72.2 percent of his passes in those games and has thrown for seven touchdowns and no interceptions in the last three meetings.

He has particularly torched Bradley’s defense the past two seasons, completing 78.5 percent of his passes for 662 yards and four touchdowns, and the Chargers won both games by a combined 37 points.

"We just happened to play pretty well in those games against Jacksonville," Rivers said. "Obviously it’s only been two times against this current staff. It was a lot of different players and different schemes in years prior. In the game in Jacksonville two years ago it was a battle. We had to fight for everything we got. The last year we hit three big plays and that’s why we were able to put it out of reach.

"They [the defense] are playing with a lot of confidence. They’re paying together. They’re playing really well. You can tell now it’s their third year in that system and they're really feeding off one another."

Rivers has had one bad game in 2015 and it came last week in a 33-3 home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. He threw for 178 yards and one interception and failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

Receiver Malcolm Floyd practiced on Wednesday for the first time since suffering a torn labrum on Nov. 9 and tight end Ladarius Green (ankle) is expected to return to the lineup, so Rivers may have some more help on Sunday.

Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich, whose unit has given up 17 touchdown passes and has trouble putting pressure on quarterbacks without blitzing, knows the defense has to slow Rivers down if the Jaguars are going to win their third in a row and remain alive in the AFC South race.

"He calls a lot of things from the line of scrimmage, gets them in the right plays, does a lot of checking, so we have the utmost respect for him," Babich said. “He is a seasoned vet [and] a proven player that plays at a Pro Bowl level.

"He’s a tough quarterback; he competes every snap. That’s what we love about him and it’s a tough task to defend him."