Chargers postgame whispers

Chargers' cornerback Sammy Davis had the first sack of his career off a corner blitz in the fourth quarter. He was, however, on the field for two touchdown passes against, both in coverage on Keyshawn Johnson.

It seems odd that Sammy Davis would be on the field inside the red zone when a more physical corner may be a benefit in bumping a player off the timing of a route. Johnson is one of the more physical receivers in the league and half his game is built on precise route running. Drayton Florence and Quentin Jammer would seem to be better fits. And didn't Jamar Fletcher outplay him in training camp and through most of the preseason?

"It is a situation of do or die and we have done pretty well," Johnson said of his touchdown receptions and chemistry with quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Ben Leber had his best game since his rookie season on Sunday. He was credited with three stuffs, or tackles for a loss, on the day. He also netted a sack and a fumble recovery. The recovered fumble led to seven points for San Diego. Competition brings out the best in people and some say Ben Leber has been underrated. Why, then, did they spend a first round pick on a player to take his spot?

The truth is he is on the hot seat and made a clear statement in game one. His legacy will not go away with just a whisper. He is going to hold onto his spot for as long as he can, similar to what Drew Brees did a year ago.

"No matter how good your individual performances are, we live and die by wins and losses," said Leber.

It is clear the Chargers have trouble getting LaDainian Tomlinson the ball on screen passes. They did not call one all afternoon which points to the offensive line's lack of athleticism.

But that isn't necessarily true:

"It is not one that only works in a dome or a warm weather team or west coast team, it is an offense that is simple in nature because it goes back to the fundamentals," Roman Oben defended.

Faced with third and 14 late in the fourth quarter – clearly two down territory – a screen pass could have cut the length they needed in half. Instead it was a lucky play that got them the first down.

The Chargers abandoned the running game in the second half, notching just 12 carries. With their top receiving threat out of the game, Tomlinson would seem to be the top option and running him through the defense. That did not happen.

"The opportunity to win the game was there throwing it," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

"I felt like they were starting to soften and wearing them down a little bit," Tomlinson said. "There is no question they kept eight men in the box and did a good job stopping the run. Ten, 11 play drives, you would think the end of the third, beginning of the fourth that you control the line and really be able to do what you want to do. They did a good job of adjusting."


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