Chargers Insider

The Chiefs are coming to town on Sunday - not that it matters to the Chargers.

That's not to say the 3-4 Chargers aren't aware of the importance of the upcoming AFC West battle. If they are going to reach the playoffs, tie-breakers won against divisional rivals might push them toward the postseason.

But in a sense, it doesn't matter that it's the Chiefs. The Chargers know they have to win - regardless of the opponent - because they've dug themselves a bit of a hole after letting Sunday's game slip away in Philadelphia.

That's not to say the Chargers haven't reached for the shovel before. It was after two weeks and two losses that opened the season that the Chargers were throwing dirt from their grave.

"This is as close to a must-win as we've had since we were 0-2," quarterback Drew Brees said of Sunday's game.

The Chargers picked themselves off the mat that time, defeating the Giants with 45 points, their biggest scoring output in years. Then came a win over the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, and the Chargers were on a roll.

But they got rocked by the Steelers and Eagles, sandwiched between a conquest of the Raiders.

So after losing two of their past three - and matching last year's loss total already - the Chargers know they are walking a tightrope. Especially with their third of five road trips to the Eastern Time Zone waiting in a date with the Jets after playing the Chiefs.

The last time the Chargers were backed up against a concrete slab, they responded. To their regret, they have to do it all over again on Sunday.


--QB Drew Brees played well enough to win. He was under duress most of the game and still managed to throw touchdown passes and 299 yards.

--QB Philip Rivers remains the backup, despite the presence of A. J. Feeley.

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson fell short in breaking the NFL record for consecutive games (19) with a touchdown. How he rebounds after the worst game of his stellar NFL game will be worth watching.

--FB Lorenzo Neal had 5 yards on two carries - but his 2.5-yard average blew away Tomlinson's 0.4.

--WR Reche Caldwell was on his way to a big day when he fumbled away the ball, which killed the Chargers' hopes. He finished with four catches for a game-high 97 yards.

--WR Keenan McCardell scored a touchdown, catching five balls for 78 yards. After a two-game stretch where he was quiet, he's been getting involved again.

--WR Eric Parker was held without a catch. He returned punts in the Eagles' game, but didn't do much.

--TE Antonio Gates added a touchdown catch, getting 72 yards on eight catches. That said, it seems the Chargers could have used him more with the heat Brees was under.

--PK Nate Kaeding was perfect on 11 attempts this year when he got his last effort blocked and the Eagles turned it into a game-winning play.

--FS Bhawoh Jue is turning into a heavy hitter, and his big hit caused an interception that fell to Donnie Edwards.

--OLB Shawne Merriman got his first NFL start and continues to do well. He finished with a sack and five tackles. He did draw a roughing the passer penalty.

--CB Quentin Jammer had his best day of the season, collecting a game-high 10 tackles and supplying solid coverage.

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