Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Vincent Jackson as the San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive by steamrolling the visiting San Francisco 49ers 34-7 on Thursday night.
Rivers threw for 273 yards on 19-of-25 passing as the Chargers (8-6) moved within one-half game of AFC West leader Kansas City.
Jackson, who sat out the first 10 weeks due to a contract dispute and league suspension, scored his first three touchdowns of the season on scoring passes of 58, 11 and 21 yards. He finished with five catches for 112 yards after entering the game with just two receptions on the season.
Brian Westbrook scored the only touchdown for San Francisco (5-9) with 4:26 to play, spoiling San Diego's bid for back-to-back shutouts. The Chargers stuffed the 49ers on fourth-and-inches early in the second quarter and San Francisco never threatened thereafter.
Despite the shellacking, the 49ers still have a chance to win the NFC West. St. Louis and Seattle are tied atop the division with 6-8 records.
Rivers connected with Jackson on a 58-yard strike just 2:07 into the contest to jump-start the Chargers. He improved to 20-1 in December and joined Dan Fouts as the only San Diego quarterbacks to pass for 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.
Mike Tolbert scored on a 1-yard run and Nate Kaeding booted a pair of field goals for San Diego, which was coming off a 31-0 shutout of Kansas City on Sunday.
Niners quarterback Alex Smith was 19 of 29 for 165 yards and an interception.