"Carlos Polk makes a big hit, we score, bang bang," said Norv Turner of Polk's role on special teams. "You can feel our guys, that confidence, come back. We did a lot of good things, we took a step in the right direction. We have a long ways to go, we have a lot of work to do, in terms of knowing exactly everything we need to know about each other, but we made progress today. "
What a difference a game makes is not Turner's mentality. San Diego's head coach thinks the win did not come as a result of any big alterations, just a change of momentum.
The early lead gave the Chargers the sense of freedom to achieve success without limits, after going through 25 percent of the season with uptight play and coaching.
For weeks, the Chargers avoided the tops of any positive lists, but Phillip Rivers' flawless play in week five earned him a nomination for Fed Ex Express's Player of the Week. Rivers led an offense that acquired 484 yards and added points in all four quarters.
Another member of that offense, Michael Turner, rushed for 147 yards and kept his running game alive with a Fed Ex Ground Player of the Week nomination. Turner was the sensation of training camp and finally showed his capability as a reliable backup for LaDainian Tomlinson.
Champ Bailey (quad) was also bit by the injury bug. Bailey was unable to finish the game and Vincent Jackson milked the opportunity to excel in his absence. The wide receiver out of Northern Colorado made the play of the day with a 45-yard reception on second-and-33. Jackson outran the linebacker, Ian Gold, who after the game that said he has never been part of such a lopsided beating. Bailey's absence no doubt contributed to that outcome.
Another division game lies ahead, as the Oakland Raiders come to Qualcomm on Sunday. The semiannual match-up is a game that usually sees more action in the stands than on the field, but the Nor Cal rivals are in first place and lead the NFL in rushing. If the Chargers aren't ready, the silver and black will leave them black and blue. It is imperative that the Bolts start a W only campaign, with the season only two weeks from halfway point.
A major negative factor for the Chargers is the inability to finish games. Norv Turner rehashed the leads that were lost against the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs, but said the Chargers continue to practice well. Turner said his team had its best practices in week five, although he also said that about week four.
"I always determine it by how you prepare," Turner said. "If you keep preparing and you are talented like our guys, then you have a chance."
Preparation is good, but to reiterate Turner.
"We've still got a lot of work to do."