Insider's Perspective: Chargers vs. Bucs

WR Chris Chambers (Al Messerschmidt/Getty)

The Bolts' grabbed a 41-24 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday before successfully willing the Buffalo Bills to a victory over the division-rival Denver Broncos. SDBoltReport.com's Jaime Cattano takes a look at what worked, what didn't work and what next for the Chargers after their most impressive win of the season.

What Worked

--QB Philip Rivers -- the NFL's highest-rated passer -- completed 21-of-31 passes for 287 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Rivers was sacked only once and was not intercepted against a team that came in ranked No. 3 in interceptions. Now with 32 touchdown passes this season, his mark stands as the second-highest single-season total in team history.

--On the final play of the first half, K Nate Kaeding recorded a franchise-record 57-yard field goal, padding the Chargers lead before halftime, 20-10.

--WR Vincent Jackson finished with seven receptions for 111 yards, marking his third 100-yard game this season. He went over 1,000 yards on the season (1,051) for the first time in his career, making him the first Chargers wide receiver to record 1,000 receiving yards since 2001 (Curtis Conway).


RB LaDainian Tomlinson
Al Messerschmidt/Getty

--RB LaDainian Tomlinson rushed 21 times for 90 yards, putting him over the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,014). He joined Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin as the only players in NFL history to run for more than 1,000 yards in each of their first eight seasons.

--The Bolts defense made an impressive mark against the Bucs by forcing three turnovers. LB Stephen Cooper and rookie CB Antoine Cason each grabbed an interception. This marked Cooper's fourth interception in the last three games. Cason ran his pick back 59 yards for the first touchdown of his career.

--RB Darren Sproles marked his season-long with a 43-yard punt return. Four plays later, he grabbed a pass from Rivers and raced 32 yards down the sideline for a touchdown to put the Chargers ahead, 34-24, with only 7:29 left to play.

What Didn't Work

--The Buccaneers ran for 111 yards -- 21 yards more than the Chargers -- and registered two rushing touchdowns. Most of the damage was done by Jeff Garcia, who led the team with six rushes for 45 yards. The Chargers must tighten their defense against mobile quarterbacks; the next QB they face, Jay Cutler, ran for two touchdowns in last week's game against the Buffalo Bills.

--The Bolts' secondary allowed Tampa Bay WR Antonio Bryant to go off with six catches for 127 yards. With CB Antonio Cromartie failing to make the same significant impact he did last season, the Chargers need other players to step up with tighter coverage.

What's Next

With the win against Tampa Bay and the Denver Broncos' loss to the Bills, the Bolts have a chance of making it to the playoffs and hosting the Indianapolis Colts. Next Sunday, the Bolts will host the Broncos on Sunday Night Football to determine which team will grab the division title and move ahead to the postseason.

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