Chargers at Panthers Preview

The suddenly surging, despite a loss last Sunday, San Diego Chargers believe they can win their next three games and head into the bye week with a 6-3 record. The first test occurs this week against the Carolina Panthers.


LEADER   2-0
STREAKS   Past 2
COACHES VS. OPP. Schottenheimer: 2-0 Fox: 0-0
LAST WEEK L 21-20 at Falcons L 30-8 at Eagles
LAST GAME 12/17/00: Chargers 22 at Panthers 30. Carolina's Iheanyi Uwaezuoke returns punt 64 yards for TD & Joe Nedney's 18-yard FG secures win for Panthers.
BROADCAST CBS (1:00 PM ET): Gus Johnson, Brent Jones


PASSING Brees: 95-149-1,120-9-3-98.3 (3C) Delhomme: 99-168-1,150-7-9-71.3
RUSHING Tomlinson: 126-535-4.2-5 Davis: 24-92-3.8-0
RECEIVING Gates (TE): 37 (2C)-422-11.4-3 (T3C) Muhammad: 20-262-13.1-2
OFFENSE 327.0 317.8
TAKE/GIVE +4 (T3C) -6
DEFENSE 350.2 318.0
SACKS Foley: 4.5 (3C) Buckner, Peppers: 2.0
INTs Florence: 2 Manning: 2
PUNTING Scifres: 43.2 Sauerbrun: 43.3
KICKING Kaeding (R): 46 (T3C) (19/19 PAT; 9/9 FG) Kasay: 15 (9/9 PAT; 2/3 FG)


CHARGERS: Head coach Marty Schottenheimer has never lost to Panthers (2-0)
QB Drew Brees ranks 3rd in AFC with 98.3 passer rating & is 4th in AFC with 9 TDs. Has 121.3 rating in 4th quarter, 3rd-best mark in AFC. Has 6 TDs vs. 1 INT in past 3
RB LaDainian Tomlinson has 718 scrimmage yards (179.5 per game) & 7 TDs in past 4 vs. NFC (365 rush, 353 rec). Tomlinson leads AFC in scrimmage yards with 724 (535 rush, 189 rec)
TE Antonio Gates leads AFC TEs in catches (37) & yards (422). In past 2 games, Gates has 14 catches for 173 yards & 2 TDs. Ranks 2nd in NFL with 14 catches on 3rd down. Last TE to lead Chargers in receiving yards was HOFer Kellen Winslow (1,172) in 1983.
WR-KR Tim Dwight is 2nd in AFC with 26.2 KR avg. Set career highs in KR yards (169) & KR long (93t) vs. Panthers (10/4/98 w/Atl). Had 1st career 100-yard rec. game vs. Carolina (11/28/99 w/Atl)
LB Steve Foley leads team with 4.5 sacks, including 2.0 last week vs. Atlanta. Club ties for 3rd in AFC with +4 turnover ratio. Four players have at least 1 INT each, including 2 by team-leader CB Drayton Florence

PANTHERS: Head coach John Fox spent 1992-93 as DB coach with SD
QB Jake Delhomme avgs. 230 passing yards per game & 3 of his 7 TD passes have come in 4th quarter
RB Stephen Davis
returned to action last week for 1st time since Week 1 (knee), rushing for 66 yards on 15 carries vs. Eagles
WR Mushin Muhammad had his 500th career reception vs. Eagles & is franchise leader with 505 catches & 6,602 receiving yards. Has 20 career 100-yard games, most in team history. Rookie 2nd-round WR Keary Colbert (No. 62) has 13 catches for 240 yards & 2 TDs in 4 games. Avgs. 18.5 yards per catch, 2nd-best among rookies. Finished college career at USC as school's all-time leading receiver (207 catches)
WR Ricky Proehl has 13 career 100-yard receiving games 4 vs. California clubs (2 SF, 1 SD, 1 LA Rams). Avgs 14.1 yards per catch (13 catches for 183 yards)
Defense has not allowed 300-yard passer in 19 games, tied (KC) for 2nd-longest active streak in NFL (Mia, 20)
DE Mike Rucker has 36.5 career sacks & needs 5.5 to pass Kevin Greene (41.5) for club record
Club has 8 KR TDs since 1995, tied for most in NFL (Atl).

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