Bolts Roundup

Most of the Chargers feel good about sitting atop the AFC West. But for the walking wounded, the bye week is just what the doctor ordered. Nick Hardwick suffered the most serious injury and his replacement, Cory Withrow, is just one of the new faces working his way into the offense.

--After a 28-14 win over the Oakland Raiders, the Chargers sit higher on the AFC West totem poll. Unfortunately, Norv Turner has yet to put his stamp on the team.

"They are playing [good] defense, they are running the ball and Philip Rivers has 18 and 21 pass attempts the last two games," said NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci. "You know what that reminds me of? Martyball."

Turner doesn't always get credit where it is due. However, the resemblance to his run-heavy predecessor was uncanny on Sunday.

--Speaking off fall-guys, postseason goat Eric Parker has been placed on injured-reserve one week before the Chargers play the Houston Texans. Parker began his career with the Texans in April 2002 as an undrafted free agent. He was later released and picked up by San Diego.

--A sprained ankle put Craig Davis out of the game early last Sunday. Before going down, he and Rivers hooked up twice, netting 30 yards and two first downs. Davis must pick up right where he left off or he could fall out of a rotation that now includes 2005 Pro Bowler Chris Chambers.

--The addition of Chambers is the second major change facing the offense. The first is the insertion of Cory Withrow, who will start the next three games in place of injured center Nick Hardwick (foot).

"[Cory is] always ready," LaDainian Tomlinson said. "That's the thing, he's a pro. He's always ready and he's been in this league for a long time and there's a reason why, because whenever his number is called, whenever it's time to get the job done, he's always going to do it."

Tomlinson understands it is difficult to replace Pro Bowl center, but Withrow did a good job when his number was called. If the Tomlinson had a choice, he would skip bye week and keep playing the type of football that helped his team win back-to-back games. However, the leader in Tomlinson knows that some of this teammates need the rest.

--The Oakland Raiders suffered fewer injuries than the Chargers in Sunday's game but left Qualcomm Stadium hurting nonetheless. Oakland played its worst game of the season and their coach does not spin it any other way.

"We didn't deserve to win that game," head coach Lane Kiffin said. "We didn't really deserve to even be in that game, the way we played and the mistakes that we made."


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