Desert Detour Proves Premature

The Chargers expected to play in Arizona this season, but they banked on that game being Super Bowl XLII. Plans changed as San Diego fell into a state of emergency, just as the Bolts were pulling themselves out of one.

The NFL is monitoring San Diego's wildfires closely to determine the venue and time for the week eight match-up against the Houston Texans. The Texans have their own problems, as they sit in last place in the AFC South after a gut wrenching loss to the Tennessee Titans last Sunday.

Starting QB Matt Schaub was injured in the first quarter and replaced by Sage Rosenfels, who rallied the Texans to a 29-point fourth quarter and nearly authored a remarkable comeback.

Rosenfels tied an NFL record with four touchdowns in the fourth quarter, while his 249 yards in the final 15 minutes were the second most in NFL history. Unfortunately for the Texans, time was not on their side as Titans kicker Rob Bironas kicked the game-winning field goal as the clock ran out.

Despite Rosenfels stellar performance, Schaub wants back in for this week's game against the Chargers. Three more pass attempts will put him at 200 for the season, more than twice as many as he compiled in his three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

Coach Gary Kubiak said the situation will play itself out.

"Sage is a fine player, and if Matt can't go, we go with Sage," Kubiak said. "And if Matt's capable, but we don't think he's 100 percent, then maybe he's the backup."

The Chargers are preparing for both quarterbacks. Schaub, who is day to day with an assortment of aches and pains, and Rosenfels both have five touchdown passes this season.

The Texans ground game is hurting, too. Kubiak does not want to ditch the system all together, but said that Houston will do what it takes to win and, if the run does not work, then his team will "throw the heck out of the ball."

Lightning Quicks

--San Diego had to modify its run game after a slow start. The Chargers opponents were wary of LaDainian Tomlinson and were determined to shutdown any chance of a breakaway. It was not until week six against the Oakland Raiders that the Chargers picked up more first downs from rushing (10) than passing (8).

--The Chargers ground game is improving weekly and the secondary is following suit. The Chargers have held opposing quarterbacks under 235 yards passing in consecutive weeks.

"You got guys in their gaps, you got guys making tackles, and there's no mental errors in the secondary and you know, we are playing pretty well," Marlon McCree said.

McCree spent the 2003-04 seasons with the Texans, although his time there was nearly cut short. The Chargers had a tentative agreement in place with the Texans to swap McCree for Zeke Moreno prior to the 2004 season, but the Texans wanted to wait until the teams met in week two. The Chargers decided not to wait and the deal fell apart.

--A safety on the other side, former San Diego State star Will Demps, was added to the Texans secondary this season after a disappointing season with the New York Giants. Demps remained positive after he was let go by the Giants and was picked up shortly thereafter by the Texans. The sixth-year safety has adapted well to his new surroundings.

"The terminology is a little different than what I'm used to, but at the end of the day football is football," said Demps on his Web site. "Whether you call it Cover 1, Cover 2 or Cover 3, it's football."


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