Chargers 36, Rams 21

The Chargers raced out to a 17 point lead and went on to manhandle the Rams 36-21 on Sunday in their home opener.

It didn't take long for the Chargers offense to get rolling. One rush by LaDainian Tomlinson turned into a 55-yard touchdown and an early seven point lead.

A standing ovation ensued and was only topped by the next ovation when Nate Kaeding capped a ten play drive with a 35-yard field goal – his first field goal since missing the last four, including three last week in Green Bay.

The Bolts continued their assault early in the second quarter. Michael Turner snapped off a 55-yard run of his own to put the Chargers deep in Ram territory. Four plays later, Turner punched it in from two out to put extend the lead to 17.

St. Louis bounced back, scoring on consecutive drives with a 13-yard touchdown from Marc Bulger to Kevin Curtis and another from Bulger to Torry Holt from 41-yards out.

Kaeding drilled a 40-yard field goal with a minute to go until halftime to push the lead up to six. The killing blow, however, was an interception by Drayton Florence with thirty seconds to go in the half that he returned it 44 yards to put the Bolts up 27-14 heading into halftime.

The assault continued with Philip Rivers under center in the third quarter. Rivers led an 11-play, 72-yard drive with Andrew Pinnock putting the punctuation mark on the drive with a two yard run for the score. The play of the drive was a 10-yard toss to Reche Caldwell that the receiver fumbled but Landon Trusty made a heads up play by scooping it up and bringing it down to the St. Louis Rams.

Shawne Merriman then showed his stuff. He got the tackle when Jeff Smoker slipped four yards behind the line and followed it up by breaking up a rush five yards deep. It setup a collapsing defense on a third down rush from inside the Rams' three yard line. Several players burst through the line with Derek Robinson leading the charge to record a safety and give the Bolts a 36-14 lead.

The Rams scored once more for the final margin, a 78-yard bomb from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Curtis, Fitzpatrick's only pass of the day.

Lightning Quicks:

The Chargers rushed for 215 yards on 34 carries, a 6.3 average. The had three runs of twenty-plus yards and two that traversed 55.

The team was 8-for-16 in third down efficiency and held the Rams to 1-for-8 in third downs.

Mike Scifres punted three times and two were downed inside the twenty.


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