No 'I' in Flo'

Speculation remains that a Chargers 2003 second-round draft pick's reign in blue and gold will end in free agency. Yet, he leaves business out of the locker room and elevates his replacement's performance. The Chargers continue to play follow the leader, wherever Antonio may go.

These days it seems whichever way the defense goes, the Chargers success will soon follow. Antonio Cromartie is the main reason why. With Hollywood writers on strike, fans are lucky that the Cromartie show is reality.

As an unknown cornerback, Cromartie managed to get the league's attention in just four games. He set an NFL record with a 109-yard touchdown. His six interceptions place him atop the picks list. Above corner's who play for an 8-1 team like the Dallas Cowboys' Anthony Henry (5). The biggest accomplishment, for Cromartie, is where three of his interceptions came from.

When asked about his one-handed interception on a pass intended for Reggie Wayne, Cromartie defined it as the best play of his two-year career. Cromartie is not surprised by the way he caught the ball in last week's game against the Indianapolis Colts. Those plays have been a part of his pre-game practices since high school. A pick, with one hand or two just meant more when it docked a quarterback like Peyton Manning.

With each passing Cromartie show, Drayton Florence can feel Cromartie's breath on his neck. The two compete in practice and on the field. Even so, Florence is the first to say he knew Cromartie had it in him. Florence was also the first to congratulate him on the field after Cromartie's highlight worthy interception. Florence does not attribute his teammate's performance to luck. Rather, where opportunity met preparation.

"To see a guy like Cromartie, who works hard, practices hard everyday, for him to go out and get three picks in his first NFL career start, I mean you gotta' just wish the best for that guy," Drayton Florence said of Cromartie's performance in last Sunday's game.

As a second-round draft pick in 2003, Florence signed a five year-deal. The end of this year will mark his free agency. Florence's five years with the Chargers will most likely end there. Cromartie is prepped to fill the void.

Sproles' Sequel

While Cromartie exploded in his starting role, Darren Sproles pushed forward, as he has all season. His two touchdowns against the Colts did not surprise teammates.

"We knew Sproles was going to break loose at any moment," Florence said. "We've been waiting for him to get it going that's why we block so hard on every return because we know he has the ability to take it the distance every time he touches it."

Easy breezy Sunday

The Colts will regroup and get ready for the Kansas City Chiefs. The groundwork should not take too long for a win in Indianapolis. A Chiefs loss will widen the gap in the AFC West for the Chargers who will face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. Only one game distinguishes the first place Chargers with the No. 2 Denver Broncos who will face the Tennessee Titans. The Oakland Raiders will face the Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson's absence leaves the Raiders a glimmer of hope in a familiar two-win season.


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