Bolts Bracing for Tough Week 6

It's got to stop -- the slow starts, the inconsistent play, the losing to teams the Chargers should beat.

So says Pro Bowl running back LaDainian Tomlinson in the aftermath of Sunday's disappointing defeat to the Dolphins.

"I didn't get much sleep (Sunday) night," Tomlinson said. "That is typical about this point of the season, especially after a loss like that."

The Chargers, a trendy pick to be a Super Bowl participant, are trying to get to .500. Instead of building on an AFC West road win the previous week in Oakland, the Chargers were flat and out of sync in a road loss at Miami.

That caused Tomlinson to toss and turn upon his return.

"Just obviously frustration and searching for answers," he said. "It can be mentally draining, but that is all about this job -- you accept that and try to look for answers to turn it around."

And did Tomlinson decide what ails the Chargers?

"No, not yet," he said. "But the good thing is there is another week. And we have a heck a challenge this week; we can't afford to go 2-4."

That would be the Chargers' standing if they stub their toe against the Patriots. The Chargers are already two games behind the first-place Broncos and can't trail by much more with a demanding slate of games awaiting: New England, at Buffalo, against the Saints in London.


RB LaDainian Tomlinson
Doug Benc/Getty

The Chargers, though, are in the same place they were last year when they flipped the season and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. But as they say in all those investment advertisements, previous results are not necessarily an indicator of future earnings.

"I'm confident because we have been in this situation before," Tomlinson said. "I guess that is the only confidence you can have.

"But as far as knowing it is going to turn around? You don't really know for sure. Each game is different, each year is different."

NOTES, QUOTES

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson -- who has rushed for 100 yards once this season -- knows his sore big toe is going to remain just that. "Yeah, it bothered me," he said. "I got hit at times, getting it stomped into the ground. It's something I expected. There's nothing I can really do about it." Tomlinson finished with 35 yards on 12 carries.

--The game turned when the Chargers were stuffed a yard shy of a tying touchdown, getting stopped on fourth down. "You have to have confidence to run that play," LT Marcus McNeill said. "Our coach had confidence to run that play, and we let him down. That's on us."

--OLB Shaun Phillips promises better days are ahead for a team that is two games off the pace in the AFC West. And that day will come Sunday night when facing the Patriots. "I can guarantee we are going to play a better football game that we did (Sunday)," he said.

--ILB Stephen Cooper returned after serving his four-game suspension. "Physically, I was fine," he said after collecting eight tackles. "Mentally, I was kind of slow out there a little bit with my reads and stuff."

PLAYER NOTES

--OLB Jyles Tucker will be out several more weeks with a hamstring injury. Marques Harris replaces him.

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson's toe injury is no worse than it was last week. Tomlinson said the injury would need three weeks to heal to get right, and he's not about to miss that many games.

--LG Kris Dielman (thigh) could miss practice time this week, but he will play Sunday.

--RG Mike Goff's sprained knee held up, but he could miss practice time this week.

--FB Jacob Hester, the team's third-round pick, is having a tough time getting on the field in the base offense. However, he has been productive on special teams, and he proved it Sunday with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

--WR Chris Chambers could be down this week with an ankle injury that forced him to leave the field on a cart.

--SS Clinton Hart injured his shoulder but will be OK.


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