Bolts Notebook: Final Look Back

The Chargers were handed another frustrating loss at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in an old fashioned shootout in London, England. Samantha Fillerup shares her notes and anecdotes from the Bolts' first regular season contest outside the U.S.

--Despite dropping to 3-5, the Bolts remain just 1.5 games back in the AFC West behind the Denver Broncos, who had a bye in Week 8. Prior to Sunday's game, San Diego and New Orleans last met in 2004 when the Chargers won, 43-17. The Chargers still lead the series with the Saints, 7-3.

--Since joining the Saints, QB Drew Brees has thrown for 11,065 yards, which is the most in the NFL. Against his former team, Brees hit 31-of-41 passes for 339 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He leads a very effective offense, as the Saints are second-best in the league at converting on third downs. The Chargers actually held the Saints below that average, as New Orleans converted just 4-of-11 tries (36 percent). It was one of the few things the Chargers defense did right.

QB Philip Rivers
Rick Stewart/Getty

--Philip Rivers finished Sunday's game with a 104.3 passer rating. Rivers has finished with a passer rating above 100 six times this season, including in three straight games. Rivers leads the league in passer rating with a 107.8.

--LaDainian Tomlinson carried 19 times for 105 yards and also chipped in a receiving touchdown. Prior to that performance, he had not rushed for more than 100 yards or scored a touchdown since Sept. 28.

--The Bolts spread the ball around. Vincent Jackson brought in four receptions for 60 yards and one touchdown, while Chris Chambers added five catches for 47 yards. Malcom Floyd was going for his third straight game with a score but was unable to get into the end zone and added one reception for 21 yards.

--Despite his physical limitations, Antonio Gates leads all tight ends with four touchdowns this season. Gates set season-highs with six receptions for 96 yards against the Saints. However, his one touchdown paled in comparison to the three scores he caught last time the Chargers played the Saints.

-- The San Diego defense struggled to get pressure on Brees and has gone nine quarters without a sack. Nonetheless, the Chargers defense still ranks in the NFL's top-10 in sacks with 17.

--The Chargers entered the game ranked No. 28 in total defense, surrendering an average of 366 yards per game. The Saints managed to top that already generous mark, racking up 409 yards of total offense. That number would have been even higher had Brees not lost 26 yards on an intentional safety late in the game.

--As bad as the Chargers defense looked on Sunday, it could have been a lot worse. Saints RB Reggie Bush was out with a knee injury sustained in the game last week against the Carolina Panthers. Deuce McAllister was the primary ball carrier in his stead and had 18 carries for 55 yards (3.0 ypc) and one touchdown.

--Darren Sproles ranks sixth in the league in kick returns with an average of 28 yards. He had eight kick returns against the Saints for 201 yards, an average of 25.1 per return. However, his first fumble of the season offset much of that good work.

--Nate Kaeding achieved perfection for the fifth game this season and is on target with 83.3% of his field goal attempts this season.

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