Chargers at Broncos preview

The San Diego Chargers take to the road, looking to avenge their season opening loss at home against Dallas.

Kevin Harlan, Randy Cross
LEADER  50-39-1
STREAKS  3 of past 4
COACHES VS. OPP. Schottenheimer: 11-20 Shanahan: 17-6
LAST WEEK L 28-24 vs. Cowboys L 34-10 at Dolphins
LAST GAME 12/5/04: Broncos 17 at Chargers 20. San Diego RB LaDainian Tomlinson rushes for 2 TDs & Chargers' defense records 4 INTs.
LAST GAME AT SITE 9/26/04: Broncos 23, Chargers 13. Denver QB Jake Plummer passes for 2 TDs & Broncos' defense allows just 214 yards.
PASSING Brees: 18-35-209-2 (T2C)-2-65.1 Plummer: 22-48-251-1-2-51.6
RUSHING Tomlinson: 19-72-3.8-1 (T3C) Bell: 13-47-3.6-0
RECEIVING McCardell: 9 (T1C)-123-13.7-2 (T1L) Smith: 7-90-12.9-0
OFFENSE 291.0 312.0
DEFENSE 301.0 (2C) 426.0
SACKS Four tied: 1.0 (T3C) 0
INTs 0 Bailey: 1 (T3C)
PUNTING Scifres: 31.5 Sauerbrun: 45.4
KICKING Kaeding: 6 (3/3 PAT; 1/1 FG) Elam: 4 (1/1 PAT; 1/1 FG)


Club has won seven games in row at Qualcomm Stadium in the series.

Head coach Marty Schottenheimer's teams are 5-3 (.625) vs. Denver QB Plummer.

Quarterback Drew Brees was AFC's top-rated passer in red zone in '04 (114.7), completing 40-of-60 passes (66.7 pct.) for 352 yards and 20 touchdowns vs. one interception. Running back LaDainian Tomlinson has a rushing TD in each of past 13 games and needs one this week to surpass Hall of Fame RB John Riggins & RB George Rogers for the longest such streak all-time. Since 2001, Tomlinson is NFL's top September rusher with 1,575 yards in 15 games (105.0 avg.). He has rushed for NFL-leading 86 1st downs in those 15 September games.

Wide Receiver Keenan McCardell (764) needs one reception to surpass Hall of Famer and his position coach James Lofton (764) for 14th-most catches in NFL history.

The defense intercepted Denver's Plummer four times in the last meeting. Linebacker Steve Foley defensed three passes, including an interception in the last meeting. Cornerback Drayton Florence earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week for performance in last meeting with two key pass defenses an interception and three tackles.


Head coach Mike Shanahan is 17-6 (.739) in career vs. Chargers, his most wins vs. any opponent. Denver has won 12 of the past 16 in series.

Quarterback Jake Plummer has led 19 game-saving or game-tying drives in fourth quarter or OT since 1995 – most among active QBs in that span.

Running back Tatum Bell led AFC rookie rushers in '04 with 396 yards on 75 carries (5.3-yd avg.).

Wide receiver Rod Smith had career-best 187 receiving yards vs. San Diego (11/19/00), 1-of-3 career 100-yard games vs. the Chargers. Smith needs 138 receiving yards to be the 22nd player in NFL history to reach 10,000 and would be the 2nd undrafted player in history to reach mark (Gary Clark, 10,856). Ashley Lelie had a season-high 105 rec. yards in the last meeting (12/5/04).

Defense posted six sacks vs. the Chargers in '04. In two meetings last year, they held Brees to 28-of-56 passing (50.0 pct.) and 227 yards with zero touchdowns and one interception for a 53.2 passer rating. Cornerback Champ Bailey played for Schottenheimer in '01 at Wash., earning Pro Bowl honors. Safety John Lynch had 1.0 sack & two forced fumbles in the last meeting.

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