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Chargers' offense keeps rolling

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/lastcall?page=lastcall/week10">ESPN</a>

    By Michael Smith

    <img width="159" height="214" align="left" alt="LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers accounted for all seven of the Chargers' TDs." title="LaDainian Tomlinson and Philip Rivers accounted for all seven of the Chargers' TDs." src="http://www.espn.go.com/photo/2006/1112/nfl_g_lt_rivers_195.jpg" />They aren't just the San Diego "Super" Chargers. They're more like the San Diego "Scary" Chargers.

    The Chargers entered Week 10 as the only team in the league ranked in the top three in both offense and defense. They went into their meeting with Cincinnati as the league's highest-scoring team at 31 points per game; they upped their average to 33 by surviving a shootout in Cincinnati, 49-41. And although Wade Phillips' second-ranked defense had a hiccup in allowing 545 yards to the Bengals, San Diego remains stout on that side of the ball and will get an added charge once Shawne Merriman returns from suspension in Week 13 against the Bills. Although you tend to miss your stud linebacker a little less when your offense can overcome a 28-7 halftime deficit on the road.

    With what can now be considered an explosive offense to go along with a usually dominant (except for Sunday) defense, particularly when its front seven is intact, here's the question: Is there a more complete team right now than the Chargers?

    Since that Week 4 loss at Baltimore, it's been "So long, Marty Ball," as historically conservative Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer apparently has tapped into his inner Air Coryell. The Chargers scored a whopping 42 points in the second half Sunday, 21 in each quarter. Quarterback Philip Rivers continued to make general manager A.J. Smith look brilliant, looking like the second coming of Dan Fouts in hitting on 24 of 36 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 104 yards and scored four touchdowns -- two in a 15-second span of the fourth quarter that put the Chargers ahead -- giving him a league-high 18 for the season.

    The tandem of Rivers and L.T. ruined a banner day for the Bengals' Palmer and Chad Johnson. Palmer threw for 400 yards for the first time (440) and three scores himself on 31-of-42 passing. Johnson wanted the ball more, and he certainly got it -- to the tune of 11 catches for a team-record 260 yards and touchdowns of 51 and 74 yards. But he and Palmer have nothing but a third straight loss to show for their efforts.

    In every shootout, someone has to fall, and although there's still plenty of time left in the season, the Bengals now face an uphill battle to make anything meaningful out of their season. They are three games behind Baltimore in the AFC North, have three conference losses, and have dropped three of four at home, mainly because their defense simply can't stop anyone.

    The Denver Broncos are next in line to try to slow the Chargers down. The Chargers scored touchdowns on seven of their final eight possessions Sunday and were 6-for-6 in the red zone. These days, San Diego's offense is simply in the zone, scoring at least 27 points in each of the past five games and seven of nine this season. The 49 points were the most the Chargers have scored in 20 years and marked the third time this season they've hit the 40-point mark.

    Next week's AFC West showdown in Denver should be a dandy. The undefeated Colts still have to be considered the favorites, but the Chargers, with the way they've performed lately -- especially offensively -- certainly do have a Super look about them.

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