Chargers notes and quotes: Battle lines drawn

The San Diego Chargers moved to 2-2 in the preseason with a decisive win over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday. They now have just over a week to prepare for the opener in Houston and Drew Brees likely cemented his status as the starter with his strong game, but Schottenheimer was not so ready to give the rock to him yet. The running back battle got very interesting on Thursday with a solid game from Michael Turner. Schottenheimer could not have been more pleased with the fifth round pick.

Donnie Edwards made the first tackle of the game for the defense, stopping a runner after a two yard gain. He would come up with the drive ending tackle on that first drive as well.

Jesse Chatman had eight runs for 65 yards in the first quarter, adding a touchdown. He also fumbled away a ball after breaking one for 32 yards on the second play of the game.

Drew Brees, erratic in his last outing, was a perfect 5-for-5 for 71 yards and a touchdown through the first twenty minutes of the game. He left the game with his stats still perfect and thus was given a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating.

"I wanted to go out there and complete every ball," Brees said. "The fact that we were able to go down there and score two touchdowns, that was our goal for the starters - score two touchdowns and sit on the sidelines and watch the rest of the ball game."

Coach Schottenheimer complimented Brees, perhaps a prelude to naming him the starter.

"Drew Brees played quite well," Schottenheimer said. "I thought our first unit on offense was very, very crisp."

Philip Rivers got sacked on his first play of the game and his first actual pass was called for intentional grounding. His third play and second pass was picked off and Rivers made the touchdown saving tackle, a body slam inside the five yard line.

Rivers followed that up by throwing 13 consecutive completions before Wes Welker dropped a pass near the sidelines late in the fourth quarter. It was his only other incompletion of the day as he went 13-for-16 for 85 yards. He was sacked twice behind the second team offensive line and saw pressure at different times which forced him to dump the ball off.

"What he needs to do is play," Schottenheimer said of Rivers. Whether that was a look at the future at quarterback is another question that will be answered this week.

Michael Turner had 24 rushes for 116 yards with one touchdown. He also caught four passes for 28 yards.

"That is wonderful," Turner said when he heard the stats. "Slowly, I was getting my confidence. I built more when I was playing against Indianapolis (in the first preseason game)."

"Michael Turner gave evidence of why we considered him an excellent draft selection," Schottenheimer said.

Justin Peelle dislocated his left thumb in the first quarter and was done for the game. It was the first joint in his thumb that was injured and word is he will be fine.

"He is going to be ok," Schottenheimer added. "It is not the big joint in his thumb. It won't be a problem at all."

Courtney VanBuren got injured in the third quarter when he got his leg rolled up on. His right knee looked to take the brunt of the blow. After the game it was called a "knee bruise" by the head coach.

Micah Ross hurt his wrist on his only reception of the day, coming in the third quarter. Ross returned to the game to make a similar catch on the same drive to get a first and goal. He caught four passes on the day and all but one were quick hits at the line of scrimmage where Rivers turned and threw his way immediately after the snap.

Dave Ball got his fifth sack of the year but it was taken away when a penalty on offense was accepted instead – an odd move after a sack and a loss of a down. On the next play he had his hands around the ankles of the QB as he let the ball go.


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