"We've played a lot of pretty good offenses, and that's why we're giving up yards," defensive tackle Jason Fisk said. "But when it comes down to it, this game's about finding a way to win, and that's what we did."
The Broncos piled up 417 total yards, marking the fifth straight game and the seventh time this season the Chargers have allowed more than 400 after not doing so once last year. And for the second game in a row, they permitted an opposing running back to rush for better than 150 yards, as rookie Clinton Portis had a career-high 159 yards.
The Chargers put in extra work and film study to focus on the mental aspects of stopping the run, on the fundamentals of knowing each other's responsibilities and being in the right gap at the right time last week.
Well it looks like they will have to go back to the drawing board this week.
"We've had so many breakdowns in the gap responsibility of our defense, and it's disappointing," safety Rodney Harrison said. "If we have eight guys on the line and he's still able to run the ball, something has to improve. We can't just keep going like that. We can't expect to go out there and be a successful defense if we let guys run 100 yards on us."
The light shining through the clouds is the Chargers held the Broncos to just two of 13 third-down opportunities.
"There are going to be some yards to give and take," rookie linebacker Ben Leber said, "but it came down to the very end and we came out on top."
"It's time to work. There's no time to get the party favors out. We know what we're capable of and what we're not doing. And maybe you can play it off on CBS, and people can focus on your good plays and not your bad. But we can't perceive it as such. We've got to know what the reality is. The reality is we know there is still work to do, and we know what the work is."
"As much as we enjoy this win," strong safety Rodney Harrison said, "we're disappointed in the way we handled the run game. You can't be having guys rushing for 100 yards on our defense.
"We're going to have to get it fixed, because you can't be a playoff team if you keep giving up 100 yards (rushing)."
Truer words were never spoken. Now they must also face a Raider team that has surpassed the 300 yard passing mark nine times this year. A tough blow to their already fragile psyche.
``We're a bunch of fighters,'' safety Rodney Harrison said. ``We're not going to give up, we're not going to quit. We believe in each other. We're in first place, but we have room for improvement and we know that.''
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