Chargers roll into bye week

Rolling, rolling, rolling, keep this San Diego Charger team rolling, bye week. <br><br> The argument is that the bye week will bring about the return of a healthy LaDainian Tomlinson but who needs him when Drew Brees and company are getting more mileage out of the receiving corps than a Michelin.

The bye week has seemingly come at an inopportune time.

Nine out of ten Chargers personnel agree that the bye week could wait another week or two. The team is playing as well as any team in the league and the off-week threatens to grind the momentum to a halt.

Sunday was viewed by many as a classic trap game. The Chargers were high and mighty with a bye week up next – perhaps looking ahead to some rest and relaxation. The Saints were coming off their bye week and looking to reassert themselves. It could have been disastrous. Well, technically, it was – for the Saints.

The Saints came out flat – a plot the Chargers do not want to duplicate when they exit their own bye week and travel to Oakland.

Coach Marty Schottenheimer has done a good job of keeping his team aligned for the rigors of the week-to-week challenges and this week was one of those defining moments.

"There were many distractions: the bye week coming up, we are playing a team that is not in our conference – our guys went to work," said the coach.

"Marty never let's us go into a game thinking we have it won," LaDainian Tomlinson said.

And the team will be rewarded for their preparation as they have each of the last three weeks with victory Monday – a day off from practice drills although they will still come in and break down film.

Here are the Chargers, sitting at 6-3 and atop the AFC West with Denver and three straight division games on the schedule. A short rest would seem beneficial.

"I wish we could play all the way through," veteran safety Jerry Wilson said. "I am sure I share that same feeling as a lot of my teammates. We are feeling so good about ourselves."

The defense is playing well and Sunday was the first sign of consistent pressure up front to combine with the run stuffing of recent weeks.

The offense is scoring almost every time they touch the ball and everyone is getting in on the action.

The special teams unit, when called upon, has taken advantage of its opportunities.

Who wants to stop the bus?

"We want to create streaks and ride that wave and keep that momentum going," quarterback Drew Brees said.

The streak is at three, though they are 5-1 over the last six. They are 4-1 at home and are scoring over 29 points per game, good for second in the NFL in points per game while leading the league in scoring.

They come off the bye week and play a team they already demolished once. Tomlinson, who has gone five games without a 100-yard effort, will be near full strength. Spirits should be high.

Talk could be turning to the playoffs, no?

"We are a team that is six and three and I am not looking beyond that," Schottenheimer said. "We are going to enjoy the bye week and we will get ready for the Raiders when we get back."

The Chargers don't have a choice in the matter regarding when they can take their bye week. The schedule makers have decreed the tenth week of the season as a weekend of rest for the Bolts. The fans get a chance to reload their collective voices and fret over the rest of the schedule while players get a chance to get away in some form or fashion.

But the layoff won't be more than a weekend away.

"In our business you better not stay away too long or you will end up climbing uphill," Schottenheimer warned.

And with the team riding high at 6-3, it will be up to the coaching staff to set the course for the last seven games. Getting out of the gate after the bye week will be crucial to the playoff run they plan to partake in. A collapse in Oakland could spell a collapse for the Chargers season.

Lightning quicks:

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Denis Savage can be reached at Denis@sandiegosports.net

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