Building on a Win

The San Diego Chargers are back at work and are looking to build on a win. They don't know who their quarterback will be this weekend when they face the Green Bay Packers, but you can be sure the Pack has a firm understanding on the man they will have under center when they arrive at Qualcomm.

Brett Favre is a legend. While the QB carousel goes round and round in San Diego, the Packers have not had to worry about who will man the position since the dawn of time. You have to go back to 1992 to find a time when Favre was not the starting quarterback on any given Sunday, spanning 186 straight games.

"The guy is remarkable," Marty Schottenheimer said of Favre. "What he has done up there and the longevity that he has exhibited. I know every year you hear him talk about retirement, but he may play as long as Blanda."

Favre comes into the game with 23 touchdown passes on the year and is completing an amazing 64.9% of his passes.

His one downfall has been his interception total, which sits at 19. The Chargers are hoping they will be the beneficiaries of some errant passes. Favre has always been a free-wheeler with the ball. His lowest interception total for a full 16 game season is 13. He is willing to trade those stats for more touchdowns. Only once in his career has he posted more interceptions than touchdowns, 1993. Entering the season he has averaged 48 "big" plays, those that span 20+ yards, over the last ten years. He has 29 of those plays this season.

While the secondary certainly has played better, this is an exam they will never forget.

"The test this week will be a little bit more stern because of Brett and of course their receiving corps," Schottenheimer said. "I think we are making some progress on the defensive side of it."

Progress and ready for "the Pack" are two different things. The Packers are fighting for their playoff lives in the NFC Norris Division. There are two ways to look at this:

The Packers will come out swinging and put the Chargers down quickly:

"When we go down real fast a lot of our guys go in the tank because they feel the game is over and that is what happens when you have a lot of young guys," LaDainian Tomlinson said.

Or, the Chargers, at 3-10, are a scary team to face as they look towards next season:

"Some people say you would rather face a team that is 10-3 than 3-10 because, teams that sometimes have nothing to lose, play better football," Favre said. "They play hard. We have to be ready for their best. Their record doesn't indicate how well or hard they play."

The Chargers have gained some confidence in recent weeks, but the fight this week could turn out bloody. If they do win, the early season struggles can finally begin to be put to rest as they march on their quest to win out the rest of the way, but if they lose it will be more questioning, especially with the uncertainty at QB.

Either way, Schottenheimer is dead on when he retorted, "They will be a full day's work, there is no doubt about it."

Denis Savage can be reached at

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