Despite having just 47 yards rushing on 17 carries, LaDainian Tomlinson continued his assault on the record books. His rushing touchdown in the third quarter tied him with Chuck Muncie for the team record in career rushing touchdowns with 43.
His lost fumble on the first play from scrimmage was his first since October 6, 2002 when he lost one against Denver.
"Being able to contribute like he did today, that is just great," quarterback Drew Brees said of McCardell.
"This was the role I envisioned," McCardell recanted, almost relieved.
Kiel also was credited with three passes defensed. It was his best coverage game to date. He was all over the receivers down the field. In the past, Kiel has been extremely strong against the run. On Sunday, Kiel was equally effective in both areas as he also led the Chargers in tackles with eight.
It is a sign of him becoming a complete player. To further the point, Kiel had just one pass defended on the year coming into Sunday and had four all of last season. He has tied that total with nine games to play.
"We are playing much better as a team and it is showing out on the field," Kiel said.
The best thing about what Kiel said is the inclusion of "we" in his response. He credited the people around him for his ability to make plays and it could be a sign of a new leader on the team.
With the 17-6 victory, San Diego earned their first-ever win against Carolina. The two teams had only played twice previously.
The also Bolts matched their win total from 2003 with their fourth victory of the season. They didn't register win number four until the last game of the year in 2003.
Nate Kaeding began the season a perfect 9-for-9 on field goal attempts. With under a minute to go in the first half, Kaeding missed his first attempt – wide left – on a 29 yard try. He came back later in the game and hit one from 44 yards out.