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Bolts win, baby

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=2452" target="_blank">Chargers.com
    By Casey Pearce

    <img src="http://bolttalk.com/images/brees14.jpg" class="left" alt="Drew Brees" />For the fifth-straight time in their series with their arch rivals, the Chargers just won, baby.

    Quarterback Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes and San Diego's defense pitched a second-half shutout as the Bolts rolled to a 34-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium Sunday night.

    "I guess we just have their number right now," wide receiver Keenan McCardell said. "We're on a roll against them. This was another big win that we really needed. We take a lot of pride in protecting our home, and we did that tonight against a talented football team."

    Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer had hoped that his team would come out firing, but instead his team methodically moved through the first half. The Bolts and Raiders spent the first 29 minutes of the contest exchanging blows.

    Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski put the Raiders on the score board with a 37-yard field goal on their opening drive before Nate Kaeding hit a 41-yarder on the Chargers' opening possession to tie it.

    The two teams traded punts before Chargers tight end Antonio Gates gave his team their first lead of the night with a six-yard touchdown catch. Oakland responded with a scoring strike to their tight end, a 16-yard strike to Courtney Anderson.

    "We felt like we could come out and take our shots against them, but they were soft in their coverage and wouldn't let anyone get behind them," Brees said. "I realized that after the first drive and just took what they gave us and methodically moved the ball down the field. We wore them down, took time off the clock and put our defense out there with a lot of rest."

    Their patience paid off. With 18 seconds remaining in the second quarter, running back Michael Turner found the end zone from two yards out, capping a 13-play drive that covered 6:41. The Chargers never looked back.

    The Bolts' defense came out with a vengeance in the second half, forcing three-and-outs on both of Oakland's third-quarter possessions. The Raiders held the ball for just 1:29 of the third frame as the Chargers pulled away.

    On San Diego's opening possession of the second half, Brees led the Bolts' offense on a 13-play drive that ate up 7:32 of game time and culminated with a one-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Eric Parker.

    "In the first half, I thought it was an evenly played half," Raiders Head Coach Norv Turner said. "They have an outstanding offense. In the second half, they made plays, drove the ball and stepped it up a notch defensively. Obviously their defense took control."

    The Chargers forced a total of four three-and-outs in the second half which gave their offense the opportunity to grind out the final minutes. Kaeding's second field goal of the night, a 32-yard kick, ended a 5:53 minute drive and gave the Bolts a commanding 27-10 lead. Still, Schottenheimer wasn't completely comfortable. His deep breath didn't come until safety Clinton Hart put the nail in the coffin with 6:45 remaining in the game.

    With Oakland driving, Hart stepped in front of a pass intended for Anderson and returned it 70 yards for the decisive score.

    "Because we were playing a team that has explosive players like that at the perimeter, you can take one play in a matter of ten seconds and make the lights flash on the scoreboard," Schottenheimer said. "You always want to be careful. I would have to say when I began to have a bit of comfort when we intercepted the ball and returned it for a touchdown. That was the one play that I thought made the difference."

    While no player particularly dominated the box score, the Chargers got contributions from nearly everyone. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson led all rushers with 86 yards on 25 carries. He also caught five passes for 24 yards. Brees finished the night 17-of-22 for 160 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

    McCardell caught four passes for 60 yards, and his first reception of the evening made him the 13th player in league history with 800 career grabs. Gates finished with four receptions for 51 yards, and Parker had three catches for 22 yards.

    "We've got so many guys on this team that can hurt you that one guy doesn't have to have a huge night for us to be successful," Parker said. "We all pitched in tonight and did our jobs. That's what is important. We all had our hand in a victory."

    The Chargers committed just one penalty Sunday night and won the turnover battle 2-0 as they picked up their eighth win of the season. They also held Raiders running back LaMont Jordan to 55 yards on 15 carries and delivered a solid performance on special teams, including a 71-yard punt by Mike Scifres.

    "We made some plays in the kicking game and made some defensively," Schottenheimer said. "We managed to get things done that were important. We've been focusing on the kicking game and I was pleased with what we accomplished."

    With the victory, the Chargers improved to 8-4 on the season and saw their playoff hopes affected by Denver and Pittsburgh losses earlier in the day. Still, the Bolts refused to acknowledge the accomplishments of any team other than theirs.

    "We feel if we play like we are supposed to and execute like we need to, everything will take care of itself," Brees said. "We have to worry about us winning. We know if we win every game from here on out then we don't have to worry about anyone else winning or losing or knocking someone else off."

    Added McCardell, "There are plenty of tough tests ahead starting with next week against Miami."

    The Chargers look to make it six-straight next Sunday when they host the 5-7 Dolphins at Qualcomm.

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