Bolts Report Card

The Chargers offense was efficient, grinding out tough yards and moving the chains on third down. The defense did its part, too, keeping the Broncos out of the end zone in both meetings this season. Add in a well managed game by the coaching staff and the Chargers have themselves another sparkling report card.

PASSING OFFENSE: A -- Philip Rivers played the first half and went 17-for-25 for 189 yards and a score. And for the second straight game, he didn't turn the ball over. Billy Volek looked a bit shaky in relief, fumbling on his second play when he botched a handoff. Chris Chambers continues to get comfortable in the offense and he had a team-high 71 yards and a score on four catches. Pass protection was fine for the most part, although there were two sacks.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- LaDainian Tomlinson worked for only a half, but that was enough time to rack up 107 rushing yards and a score and take over the NFL rushing lead from the injured Willie Parker. Tomlinson was at his best, making would-be tacklers look silly as he cut around them and ran past them. Run blocking was exceptional, as the line is hitting its stride as the regular season comes to an end. Darren Sproles and Michael Turner weren't that effective late, but by then, this game was already decided.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- Quentin Jammer grabbed his first interception of the year and Clinton Hart added another one as well. But the key here is the pass rush, which never let Denver QB Jay Cutler get comfortable. The Chargers had four sacks, one each by Shaun Phillips, Igor Olshansky, Luis Castillo and Hart. Jammer and Hart also added two passes defensed. Cutler threw for just 155 yards despite heaving it 32 times.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Olshansky has been playing like a madman of late, and he was on his game again Monday. Olshansky had four tackles and forced a fumble, meeting the challenge at the point of attack time and again. The Broncos couldn't break the 100-yard rushing barrier -- some of that was due to them falling behind by such a wide margin. But don't overlook the play of the inside linebackers, Matt Wilhelm (team-high eight tackles) and Stephen Cooper (four tackles).

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- K Nate Kaeding was able to kick three field goals despite hurting his left (plant) foot. He did turn over the kickoff duties to P Mike Scifres. There were a few hiccups on the coverage team, as it allowed kickoff returns of 30 and 35 yards. Four of Scifres' five punts landed inside the Broncos' 20-yard-line. Sproles had a 24-yard kickoff return -- his best of the night.

COACHING: A -- Norv Turner played it just right -- keeping his starters sharp but getting most of them out of harm's way when the game got out of hand. Turner is leaning more on the power run to the left side, and that can only mean good things for the Chargers. Ted Cottrell had fun getting Castillo back into the mix, as well as getting Shawne Merriman just enough work. The offense and defense -- thanks to the schemes and the talent -- are playing confidently.

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