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Sack-happy Chargers take down Jets' McElroy 11 times in 27-17 win

  • 5c5c6c3006b78c24240f6a7067008b6f.jpg

    New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy (14) is brought down by San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (The Associated Press)

  • 83e41fd306ab8c24240f6a706700888d.jpg

    San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (holding ball), center, celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the New York Jets during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (The Associated Press)

  • f548ec4c06828c24240f6a7067003b61.jpg

    San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram (54) chases after New York Jets quarterback Greg McElroy (14) during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (The Associated Press)

  • f55852bd068e8c24240f6a7067005d89.jpg

    San Diego Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander, right, catches a 37-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Philip Rivers as New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) defends during the second half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (The Associated Press)

  • 2c110156067b8b24240f6a706700d082.jpg

    New York Jets cheerleaders stand near a banner in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., during the first half of an NFL football game between the New York Jets and the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun) (The Associated Press)

San Diego sacked Greg McElroy 11 times, ruining the New York Jets quarterback's first NFL start, and Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes in the Chargers' 27-17 victory Sunday.

McElroy, the third-stringer who was starting for the benched Mark Sanchez, moved the offense for the Jets (6-9) early but faced pressure all game.

With a chance to get New York back into it with less than 5 minutes remaining, McElroy was sacked by Shaun Phillips and lost the ball. Phillips recovered and San Diego sealed the win.

With most of the pregame drama centered around whether Sanchez or Tim Tebow would back up McElroy — it was both — Rivers made long touchdown tosses of 37 yards to Danario Alexander and 34 yards to Antonio Gates to lead the Chargers (6-9).

It was Gates' 82nd touchdown catch, snapping a tie with Lance Alworth for the franchise lead.

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