Nothing soft about Chargers defense

This year's San Diego Chargers team is closing in on the team's single-season sacks record of 62 in 1986. They have 54 with two games to go. While they pressured Trent Green, it was the annihilation of the running game in the first half that led the way.

The Chargers defensive line was active in the first half, hitting Larry Johnson early and often. Johnson had ten first half carries and managed just 21 yards.

"We were focused all week – we wanted LT to be the leader," defensive end Igor Olshansky said. "Let's just stop this guy."

Johnson did log a 26-yard gain in the third quarter but was held to 58 yards on his other 18 carries.

"We knew it was going to be tough," Williams admitted. "We were facing one of the best backs in our league and had to step up. You have to keep pounding him and bringing 11 guys to the ball."

"They wanted to slam it up and we were successful against that," Merriman added.

And their ability to pressure Trent Green certainly made the gameplan complete, holding the Chiefs to nine points on three field goals.

"You rattle a quarterback and he will get out of rhythm," defensive tackle Jamal Williams said.

Randall Godfrey came on a stunt blitz on the second play of the game and notched a sack on Green. It was the 30th sack of the season from Chargers linebackers. The sack was Godfrey's third of the year, tying a career-high for a single season. The last time he collected three in a season came in 2000 while playing for the Tennessee Titans.

His second sack of the game and fourth of the year set a new career-high and marked the first time in his career that he has notched two sacks in the same game.

"I thought we played well throughout most of the game," Godfrey said. "We kept playing hard, kept putting pressure on the quarterback."

Donnie Edwards intercepted Trent Green in the first quarter, picking off a pass intended for Tony Gonzalez. It is the 27th interception of his career – the most among active linebackers. He has picked off three passes this year and 17 over the last five seasons in San Diego.

Edwards also picked up a sack in the first quarter, his second of the year. The linebacker has five over the last two years after netting 4.5 in his previous five.

Shaun Phillips missed a chance at grabbing a safety when he could not corral Green in the end zone. He would sack Green, beating a double-team, in the second quarter, giving him 11.5 sacks on the year. He tipped the very next pass from Green to force an incompletion. His 11.5 sacks top the 11 he amassed over his first two years in San Diego.

Shawne Merriman (12.5) and Phillips (11.5) are the only tandem in the league with at least 11 sacks and they rank 1-2 in the league in sacks among linebackers.

Carlos Polk registered his second sack of the year in frame number two, setting a new career-high. He had just two sacks total coming into the game with one coming in Cincinnati earlier this year and the other coming September 15, 2002 against Houston.

"They can make bad decisions when they have to run around a little bit," said Merriman.

Luis Castillo was credited with a fourth quarter sack, the Chargers sixth sack of the game and the first by a non-linebacker. It is his seventh quarterback takedown of the year.

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