Bolts Notebook: 10/3

Do the Chargers have enough healthy weapons to exploit Denver's porous secondary? Can a trio of street free agents make an impact on defense? Will Tim Tebow show up on more than just billboards? These answers and more in a new Bolts Notebook.

Tools to Carve With?

Denver's secondary was toasted in Week 3, allowing Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers to complete over 76 percent of his passes for 408 yards and four scores. San Diego hopes its explosive offense can be similarly effective, even shorthanded.

Antonio Gates (foot) figures to sit so he can extend his rest through the bye week. Vincent Jackson (abdominal, leg) and Malcom Floyd (groin) are both limited by nagging injuries. Patrick Crayton is healthy, but he caught just one pass for 3 yards Sunday against the Dolphins. Rookie Vincent Brown is also fit, although his two receptions in Week 4 were the first of his career.

Philip Rivers will continue to lean heavily on RBs Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert; Tolbert ranks in the NFL's top-10 in catches (25) while Mathews is in the top-30 (19). Even so, under-card players like Bryan Walters and Kory Sperry may be called to make meaningful contributions for the first time this season.

From Streets to Stat Sheets


FS Paul Oliver
Doug Pensinger/Getty
The defense goes to Denver relying on a trio of players not on the opening-day roster. D-linemen Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Tommie Harris, as well as safety Paul Oliver, will all carry significant roles in this divisional tilt.

Nwagbuo and Harris will play a lot of snaps in place of Luis Castillo (leg) and Jacques Cesaire (knee). Harris, known best as an interior pass rusher, got some good run against the Dolphins despite having less than a week's experience in the 3-4 defense.

Oliver, who plays mostly in passing situations, should be on the field more against a Denver team that ranks in the top-half of the league in pass attempts. That will be especially true if the Chargers get an early lead.

Time for Tebow?

The last time the Chargers played in Denver, Tim Tebow was the starting QB. That was the 2010 season finale, when Tebow hit just 44 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions in a 33-28 Chargers victory.

Tebow has been utilized on just one down since that game, a run for a loss of a yard last week in Green Bay (he was used as a decoy at receiver earlier in the season). Denver fans would like to see a lot more of him, especially with their 1-3 squad in the AFC West cellar.

It will be the uninspiring Kyle Orton starting again on Sunday, although the Chargers will have to be alert for the "Tebow package."

San Diego's goal is to shut down whoever is under center. If the Chargers do that, they will move three games ahead of the Broncos in the division and will give some real power to the "we want Tebow" movement.



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Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


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