Rocky Season Hits the Mountains

The Chargers look to end their first three-game losing streak since 2003. The Denver Broncos want to prevent to Bolts from winning their second-ever game in the history of Invesco Field. The Chargers morale is high as they focus on the Rocky Mountains, rather than their rocky season.

LaDainian Tomlinson scored three rushing touchdowns in his last visit to Denver; he has yet to match that number through four weeks. If he cannot carry his team to victory in week five, it will deliver Denver's sixth-consecutive season with a 2-0 start in the division.

San Diego entered the season as a Super Bowl favorite but left its home field to the echo of boos in week four. The Denver Broncos do not believe Chargers' record gives any indication of their overall talent level.

"Defensively their doing good, probably giving up a few more points than they would like. The front seven, obviously they create problems," Jay Cutler said. "You really don't know where they are going to bring pressure from. Their secondary is equally as good, so I expect them to play some good football in these next couple weeks. We'll probably get their best shot."

The Chargers agree.

San Diego is adamant that a win in Denver would be the result of attention to detail, not change. There are few Chargers with their heads down before the Mile High match-up. Norv Turner attributes his team's positive attitude to the maturity and intensity of the group.

"I think the leadership of this football team is outstanding," said Turner. "I think everyone in the locker room, coaches and players, we are all working to make sure, mentally, we stay as sharp as we can be; that mentally we are as focused as we can be; and usually if you're out there focused and working on the football things of it, that helps in that area."

With only 12 more opportunities to prove their worth, the Chargers are focusing on making a smooth transition from preparation to game day.

"You look at practice today and you look at the way guys are working, you look at the way guys are running to the ball," Luis Castillo said. "Guys are trying to pick up the details of the game. Guys are putting in everything it takes to win a game in this league. Now it's just about getting it done on Sunday."

The Chargers carry confidence to Colorado but Castillo does not downplay the challenging venue. Invesco holds more than 4,500 more fans than Qualcomm Stadium does and the college-like atmosphere provides a significant home-field advantage, as does the high altitude. Castillo said the elevation will test the Chargers' wind.

Lightning Quicks:

--Michael Turner has seen little playing time this season and did little to better his situation with his week-four performance. Turner fumbled his first carry and lost 3 yards on his second. It was Turner's first fumble since 2004, a span of 161 games. Darren Sproles saw his most extensive time from scrimmage last week, catching one pass for 14 yards, and could continue to take snaps away from Turner. He has already seized Turner's kickoff return responsibilities.

--Shawne Merriman and Brandon Siler combined for a 2-yard tackle for a loss on Kansas City's third-and-goal play from the 1-yard line on the drive following Turner's fumble. The tackle for a loss was the fourth for Merriman this season, a team high, and he added another later in the game. Merriman's five tackles for a loss are two shy of his single-season high. Merriman is looking for his first-career sack in Denver on Sunday.

--After a pivotal touchdown opportunity was lost through the hands of Vincent Jackson last Sunday, most attention was turned to his explanation that he was not as focused as he should have been. He was certainly focused on the game's second drive, when he caught a 39-yard pass on the first play. It was the Chargers' longest pass completion of the season to date and the third-longest reception of Jackson's career. The wide receiver will return to the state of his alma mater this week. In last year's game at Invesco Field, he caught a 5-yard touchdown for his third score of the season.

--Nate Kaeding's fantasy football owners are happy with his Sunday performance. A 51-yard field goal in the second quarter marked his first kick of 50-plus yards at Qualcomm. Kaeding also added a 24-yard kick on the opening drive and a 38-yard field goal on the final play of the half. The three field goals represent a season high. He also recorded his first touchback of the season; he had a career-best 11 last season.


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