BVN Staff Writer
Some 60,000 charger faithful crammed into Qualcomm Stadium to root for a Charger football team that just might make the playoffs! If you were comparing by noise alone, the decibels seemed to reach 1995 Super bowl season levels.
Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison are gone and expectations are much lower. This may be to their advantage, the players are responding to the Shottenheimer system and find themselves tied with Denver for first place in the AFC West.
Quarterback Drew Brees, who will probably be dealt next year, is now firing on all cylinders. His statistics reflect some of the great all time Charger performances. On Sunday, Brees found Antonio Gates(featured on the cover of Gameday Magazine) three times for touchdowns. It has been some time since we recall a Charger tightend catching three touchdowns in the same game. There were other beneficiaries of the Drew Brees arm. McCardell caught 6, Tomlinson 4 and Parker 3. Brees was 22 of 36 for 257 yards and no interceptions.
The San Diego air attack was so successful that they didn't rely so heavily upon superstar LaDanian Tomlinson as much as usual. Tomlinson, who is suffering the effects of a lingering groin injury, gained a mere 36 yards on the ground to go with his 4 catches for 40 yards.
The Chargers were able to keep key New Orleans offensive threats in check. Receiver Joe Horn caught only two passes from quarterback Aaron Brooks and standout running back Deuce McAllister was held to 63 yards on 16 carries. The Charger defense met the challenge all afternoon. At 6-6 and 310 lbs., defensive end Igor Olshansky stood his ground and simply gobbled up McAllister on several occasions.
Kick return specialist Tim Dwight continued to show opponents that he can be a threat by running several kicks back for chunks of yards and good field position for the offense. Dwights longest was 48 yards.
San Diego will get a week off with a bye. They resume in two weeks against the Raiders in Oakland, then to Kansas City and back home of December 5th against the Denver Broncos.
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