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Bolts in trouble after loss to undefeated Broncos

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ap-collapsingchargers&amp;prov=ap&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>

    By Bernie Wilson

    <div class="alignright"><a href="http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/95/fullj.9d9b549f7c1722e088bb778c53529d8b/9d9b549f7c1722e088bb778c53529d8b-getty-88972024dm_broncos_v_chargers.jpg"><img title="Phillip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers looks down after the loss." src="http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/95/fullj.9d9b549f7c1722e088bb778c53529d8b/9d9b549f7c1722e088bb778c53529d8b-getty-88972024dm_broncos_v_chargers.jpg" alt="Phillip Rivers" width="166" height="212" /></a></div>

    SAN DIEGO (AP)-The only two things keeping the San Diego Chargers out of last place in the AFC West are the Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.

    After getting pummeled by the undefeated Denver Broncos, the Chargers are in trouble.

    San Diego's 34-23 loss to Denver (6-0) on Monday night left the Chargers 3 1/2 games back in their attempt to win a fourth straight AFC West title.

    "That's a different Denver team in the sense of they aren't going to fall apart," San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers said. "That's a team that's here to stay."

    That's not good news for the Chargers (2-3). Last year, the Chargers coupled a four-game winning streak with Denver's historic, three-game losing streak to sneak off with the division title at 8-8.

    The loss left the Chargers just one-half game ahead of Oakland (2-4) and 1 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City (1-5), which will host San Diego on Sunday. The Chargers have always struggled playing in Kansas City, and last year needed a fourth-quarter rally to overcome an 11-point deficit and win 22-21.

    It was San Diego's second one-point win over the Chiefs last year.

    The Chargers thought their bye week would fix the problems that dragged them down in a 38-28 loss at Pittsburgh, in which they trailed 28-0 and allowed 497 yards.

    The loss to the Broncos showed that the Chargers still have plenty to work on.

    They allowed Eddie Royal to score on both a kickoff return and a punt return, only the 11th player in NFL history to perform that feat.

    They allowed Rivers to get sacked a career-high five times while sacking Kyle Orton only once, by rookie Larry English.

    Rivers lost a fumble when sacked by Elvis Dumervil, leading to a Broncos field goal.

    "I know it doesn't look good right now but we can still bounce back," Rivers said.

    Some people are wondering if Rivers is going to make it through the season unscathed.

    "Philip does a good job in the pocket in finding the soft areas. We've got to do some things where we can get the ball out quicker to help him, based on what people are doing to us," coach Norv Turner said. "There were some blocks we didn't make that we're very capable of making and we've just got to do them, and we'll keep Philip upright."

    Although LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 70 yards, he wasn't on the field when Darren Sproles was stuffed on third-and-goal from the 2. Turner shook his head and had a chagrined look on his face as the Chargers had to settle for Nate Kaeding's 20-yard field goal.

    Tomlinson walked down the sideline toward the bench and flipped his helmet. When he and Turner spoke a few minutes later, L.T. didn't appear to be looking at the coach.

    "The coach had a play he wanted to call that involved Darren and that's all I know from there," Tomlinson said.

    "He wants to be in there and he wants that play," Turner said. The coach said he originally called a pass and wanted Sproles in the game because he attracts attention from defenses.

    Turned called it "obviously a very winnable game for us."

    "We're capable of winning that football game if we go out and play as good as we're capable," Turner said.

    Among the matchups that didn't work were safety Eric Weddle against tight end Tony Scheffler, including on a 19-yard touchdown catch late in the third quarter that gave Denver a 24-23 lead.

    "We've all got to do better, we've all got to play better," Turner said. "The plays that we can make are out there to be made."

    Turner said linebacker Antwan Applewhite will go on injured reserve and have surgery on an injured hamstring in the next few days, and that the Chargers have signed cornerback Dante Hughes.

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