Shut Up and Play

LaDainian Tomlinson is sick and tired of people talking about last season. Shawne Merriman is fed up with fielding questions after losses. Players on both sides of the ball agree -- it's time to shut up and play.

Last week's game against the Green Bay Packers marked the 11th time in history that the top-two sack leaders from the previous season went head to head. In 2006, Shawne Merriman led the league with 17 sacks and Aaron Kampman was No.2 spot with 15½. Both players earned goose eggs in week three.

It was Shaun Phillips who led the Bolts with 1½ sacks, pushing his season total to 2½. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila led the Packers with two sacks against the Chargers.

Merriman was looking to maintain the momentum he established the week prior. In week two, he sacked Tom Brady twice, forced a fumble and made a crucial tackle for a loss. However, the most dominant defensive player of 2006 was not happy with his performance at Lambeau Field. Merriman raised his voice when he told a San Diego reporter that the loss gets under his skin, insisting that the Chargers are better than their record and they are going to do something to fix it.

Repairs might not be so easy to come by. Norv Turner said the game against Green Bay was the best game the Chargers have played so far. That seems at least half true, as the offense awakened from its two-game slumber.

LaDainian Tomlinson gained 62 rushing yards, his highest total this season, and the receiving game was even better. Antonio Gates picked up 113 yards and Vincent Jackson chipped in 98. Both nearly doubled their yardage from the previous game. The offense also raised their third-down efficiency, up from 36 percent in week two to 45 percent in week three. The defense made much smaller strides. The Packers accumulated 405 yards of total offense and averaged 6.8 yards per offensive play, similar numbers to the Patriots game (407 and 6.3).

Despite more room to run at Lambeau Field, the Chargers still came up short and after the embarrassing loss in New England; Philip Rivers said fix is not in his vocabulary.

"The word fix, I don't think is correct," Philip Rivers said. "I don't think we have anything that's dilapidated or that's broken."

Rivers laughed at his own use of a big word, but went on to say that football is a game of inches. In football, the smallest miscues can cause breakdowns, failed conversions and turnovers. The Chargers have given away four interceptions this season and taken back just two.

"I made mistakes, I learned from them and I'm going to move on," Rivers said.

Perhaps part of the problem in week three stemmed from the short turnaround time. Following the night game in Foxboro, the Chargers did not land in San Diego until after 4:30 a.m. on Monday. Norv Turner gave the team Monday and Tuesday off before resuming practice Wednesday.


SD Super Chargers Top Stories