Bolts Ready to Ride Momentum Across the World

The Chargers shuffle off to Buffalo -- then London -- packing something which has been missing of late: confidence. With the Bills up first on their two-game road trip, which includes a visit to London, the Chargers regained some of their swagger by beating the Patriots.

The hope is they can build on their most solid performance of the season, one that snapped a three-game losing streak at the hands of the Patriots, leveled the Chargers' record at 3-3 and pulled them to within one game of AFC West-leading Denver.

"It was big to beat those guys," quarterback Philip Rivers said of the win over New England. "I think the main reason it was big was because of the situation we were in on the season at 2-3. It gets us back to .500 before we go on this world tour here in the next couple of weeks."

The victory didn't gain revenge for the Patriots knocking the Chargers out of the last two playoffs -- including last season's AFC Championship Game. But it supplies a boost before the longest road trip of the season.

"This certainly is what we can do and how we can play but you've got to keep doing it week after week," said Rivers, who threw for three touchdowns and 306 yards in the win. "We've been talking about feeding off each other. We've got to put it all together and lean on one another and we finally did that. I think we showed the type of energy and the type of execution we can have in all three phases."

LB Shaun Phillips
Donald Miralle/Getty

Said outside linebacker Shaun Phillips: "We know that we were a better team than 2-3. We seem to play better when there is a little adversity and we showed it. We're not going to start celebrating after one game."

Running back LaDainian Tomlinson said the outside critics won't fuel the Chargers' run in these two road games.

"I really don't care about answering anybody," said Tomlinson, who went over 11,000 career rushing yards. "To be honest with you, I can care less. I care about these guys and my teammates and I play for them and I don't play for anybody else, so everybody needs to understand that."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We can't talk about what is going to happen here on out. We have to talk about Buffalo. If we start to think about what's going to happen from here on out then we have a problem." -- OLB Shaun Phillips, on the Chargers not looking too far ahead.


The Chargers were confident Matt Wilhelm could take over the inside spot when they signed him to a long-term extension last year. But Wilhelm has struggled in his second season as a starter. The team has been disappointed he hasn't been more aggressive as it seems he is playing on his heels. So Tim Dobbins has bumped him from the starting lineup. It's an interesting switch in that when Wilhelm was out early last year with a calf injury, Dobbins replaced him. But Dobbins was overmatched, and some thought his stock with the Chargers had dropped dramatically. But he came back a different player this year and it only seemed a matter of time before he would supplant Wilhelm, who is still being used on passing downs.


--WR Chris Chambers (ankle) is hopeful he can return Sunday after missing the New England game.

--ILB Derek Smith has gone from a starter in the first four games -- when Stephen Cooper was suspended -- to a healthy inactive. Smith struggled through much of his time as a starter.

--OLB Jyles Tucker (hamstring) still seems to be at least a week away from playing. He has missed the past two games.

--WR Malcom Floyd is taking advantage of the increased reps. Floyd, who was a practice squad player then had his career derailed by injuries, had a touchdown reception against the Patriots. Back in 2004, Floyd caught Philip Rivers' first career touchdown pass.

--FS Eric Weddle was to undergo an MRI on his sore right shoulder. He could be down this week.

--WR Buster Davis is still being bothered by a groin injury and didn't have a catch Sunday.

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