Bolts Threaten Broncos with a Balanced Attack

There's little question the Chargers have one of the NFL's best passing attacks behind quarterback Philip Rivers. But imagine the possibilities if San Diego could get its woeful running game untracked.

The Chargers did just that in Sunday's win over the Eagles. And that presents a double-barreled offense the Broncos must prepare for when they welcome the Chargers with first place in the AFC West on the line Sunday in Denver.

LaDainian Tomlinson, who has been written off in many circles after turning 30 years old and having slow start in his ninth season, dusted off a vintage version of his game. He rushed for two touchdowns and a season-high 96 yards, showing the moves that made him among the game's best at his position.

Tomlinson left the game in decent shape and could be a big part of what the Chargers do in Denver.


RB LaDainian Tomlinson
Kevork Djansezian/Getty
Coach Norv Turner never did bite when others told him the game had passed Tomlinson by. When he would hear such gibberish, he would usually zip his lips.

"I tell them the same thing I tell you guys: nothing," Turner said. "It doesn't matter what I say, what people say."

Nobody was saying much bad after Tomlinson's Sunday showing, especially on his 20-yard scoring run.

"He looked explosive," Turner said. "He hit a crease. He was patient. He did the things he does. I think he's getting into good rhythm, and we're getting into a better rhythm blocking for him."

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--QB Philip Rivers was as accurate as ever in the win over the Eagles. He was 20 of 25 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He had no turnovers. That's saying something against the Eagles' aggressive defense.

--WR Vincent Jackson had one catch for 2 yards and was targeted just two other times against the Eagles, who were determined to control him. He did make a contribution, though, in run-blocking.

--WR Malcom Floyd had the team's longest reception, going for 22 yards. He finished with three receptions for 45 yards as Rivers looked his way for the downfield stuff with WR Vincent Jackson being closely monitored.

--TE Antonio Gates continues to play at a career-high level, and that is high praise considering his career. He had seven receptions for 78 yards -- both led the offense. He even had one for 20 as he constantly moved the chains with key catches.

--WR Legedu Naanee is among the benefactors since the Chargers recently released Chris Chambers. Seeing the field more, he is being productive; he had three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown of 20 yards. Keep an eye on this guy moving forward.

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson went for 96 yards and two scores right after finding out his wife was pregnant. Whatever the reason, Tomlinson looked frisky and fast in his best game of the season.

--OLB Shawne Merriman had four sacks in his previous two games, but he couldn't get to Donovan McNabb. The Chargers were able to supply very little pressure, and the Eagles quarterback threw for 450 yards. Merriman had only one tackle.

--ILB Kevin Burnett returned to action after missing three games, and he looked pretty good. His knee held up and he had a team-high nine tackles, one for a loss and a quarterback hit -- plus a pass defensed.

--ILB Stephen Cooper has switched over to the weak side and continued his high level of production. His seven tackles were second only to Kevin Burnett's nine on the team.

--RB/KR Darren Sproles didn't have a monster day, and the Chargers still won to prove how versatile their offense is. He carried the ball twice for 14 yards and caught four passes for 31 yards. He did spit out 160 return yards, with 147 coming on kick returns.

--ILB Brandon Siler has stayed a starter despite the return of Kevin Burnett. And he is playing on the strong side, with Stephen Cooper moving over to the weak side. Siler is a beast, and he had three tackles and his first career sack.


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