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Chargers returning to last season's form

Discussion in 'San Diego Chargers Hall of Champions' started by robdog, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=Apc3tcLvmaNMEP2UIv5TU0aU2bYF?slug=txchargersftr&amp;prov=st&amp;type=lgns" target="_blank">PA Ticker</a>

    By Bob Birge

    <img src="http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/sp/getty/f9/fullj.getty-75557935dm014_houston_texan.jpg" alt="SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 28: Tight-End Owen Daniels #81 of the Houston Texans is tackled after the catch by Stephen Cooper #54, Clinton Hart #42, and Carlos Polk #52 of the San Diego Chargers during their NFL game on October 28, 2007 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)" align="left" height="237" width="170" />Now these are the San Diego Chargers who rolled to an NFL-best 14-2 record last season.

    The Chargers stretched their winning streak to three games with Sunday's 35-10 rout of the Houston Texans in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated. San Diego led, 28-3, just five minutes into the second quarter.

    The Chargers' 1-3 start is a distant memory. So, too, is the early-season criticism of first-year coach Norv Turner and quarterback Philip Rivers.

    What's remarkable about Sunday's performance is that it came after a difficult week in which the Chargers were forced to practice in Arizona due to the wildfires that swept across Southern California.

    After serving as an evacuation site earlier in the week, Qualcomm Stadium was deemed safe enough by city officials to host the game. The Chargers in turn rewarded their fans with their best home performance of the season.

    "It was important for the organization (to play in San Diego), but I think it was more important for San Diego - our people, our fans," Turner said. "I think that was big and was a very positive thing."

    But perhaps the Chargers should practice in Arizona more often.

    San Diego didn't do much offensively, gaining only 237 yards. But the Chargers scored one touchdown on an interception return and another on a fumbled snap by the Texans.

    "You could tell we played with more to prove than just a win," said San Diego tight end Antonio Gates, who hauled in two touchdown catches in the first half. "That's the character of this team. We wanted this win for the city of San Diego."

    Rivers had a quiet day, attempting only 11 passes before heading to the bench. Still, he threw his first three touchdowns passes of the season at home and - more importantly - no interceptions.

    During the three-game winning streak, Rivers has thrown one interception. In San Diego's first four games, he was picked off six times.

    Another key in the Chargers' resurgence has been running back LaDainian Tomlinson's return to form.

    While he was kept out of the end zone Sunday, Tomlinson rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries against the Texans. His performance didn't measure up to his 198-yard, four-touchdown effort the week before against the Oakland Raiders, but the Chargers didn't need much from the reigning league MVP.

    "It was pretty special just getting back here and playing again," Tomlinson said. "There was so much that went on during the week in the community."

    After being held to 130 yards in the first three games, Tomlinson has rushed for 487 yards in the last four. Through seven games, Tomlinson has climbed to fourth in the NFL in rushing with 617 yards.

    It is a pace that would leave him far short of his total last year, when he rushed for a league-high 1,815 yards and set an NFL record with 31 touchdowns. But Tomlinson and his teammates may be gathering momentum as the calendar turns to November.

    With a sense of normalcy returning to San Diego, the Chargers will try to maintain their emotional edge as they battle for a playoff spot in the second half of the season.

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