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News » LT: 'Get a win' is only thing on Bolts' minds 2008-11-13

LT: 'Get a win' is only thing on Bolts' minds 2008-11-13

LT: 'Get a win' is only thing on Bolts' minds 2008-11-13
SAN DIEGO (AP) - On paper, a home game against the lowly Kansas City Chiefs appears to be just what the slumping San Diego Chargers need.

The Chargers know otherwise. The way they've underachieved this season, they simply can't underestimate anyone, especially a rival in the weak AFC West.

"Get a win," said LaDainian Tomlinson, whose Chargers (3-5) have lost two straight and three of four. "That's pretty much the only thing that's on our mind - find a way to get a win. It is a division game, so it's more important than the other games.

"For us, any time you play a division game, it's not going to be easy because teams know you so well," he added. "No matter how good or bad a team may be doing, that game probably is always going to be pretty much a close one."

After all, the Chiefs stunned the Chargers the last time they played in San Diego, scoring 24 straight points for a 30-26 win on Sept. 30, 2007. That was four games into Norv Turner's tenure and angry fans reminded Turner of his predecessor, Marty Schottenheimer, by chanting "MAR-TY! MAR-TY! MAR-TY!" in the closing minutes.

"It's a game that's really fresh in my mind, just because the way they beat us, the way they took control in the second half," Tomlinson said. "We turned the ball over, they took advantage of it. They put it to us pretty good."

That loss put the Chargers at 1-3, and they stumbled through their first 10 games before winning eight straight to make it all the way to the AFC championship game.

The Chargers come into this one still smarting from a two-loss, 11,000-mile road trip through Buffalo and London, where they lost to the New Orleans Saints.

"I wouldn't say we're mad. Getting mad is not going to do anything for you," Tomlinson said. "At this point, we've got to start to win games. We know what we have to do. We know what the challenge is that's ahead of us, and being mad is not going to do anything for us. What we have to do is take care of our own business on Sundays."

The Chargers are coming off their bye. This will be their first game since Turner, who is 72-92-1 as an NFL head coach, fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell and replaced him with inside linebackers coach Ron Rivera. Rivera won a Super Bowl ring with the Chicago Bears in 1985 and was their defensive coordinator when they lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the title game two seasons ago.

"I think our focus is to simplify, make things where guys don't have to do a lot of thinking and put players where they do best, where they make plays," safety Clinton Hart said.

The Chargers have spent time working on little things under Rivera, Hart said.

"I'm looking forward to it, him being at the helm and getting this thing going, seeing how we respond at gametime."

Hart, too, remembers losing to the Chiefs last year.

"Whoever prepares the best or who puts up the best, biggest fight, that's who's going to win it," he said. "Last year there was a lesson learned for us. We won't go into this game with the same approach. We understand what can happen if we're not ready."

Although the last-place Chiefs (1-7) are having a miserable season, they've at least shown signs of life. Last week they led Tampa Bay 24-3 in the first half before losing in overtime, 30-27. The week before that, they lost by four points to Brett Favre and the New York Jets.

The Chiefs have 18 takeaways, tied for second in the league, but only four sacks, far and away the worst.

"That's awful," coach Herm Edwards said. "I've never been involved in that. That's hard to do. That's almost like we only rush the quarterback with two guys.

"You've got to get the quarterback down," Edwards said. "You got to hit him. We've hit him some. But we haven't got him down enough. That's always hard. That's why on third down we haven't been able to get off the field. When you can't get the quarterback down, especially on third down, you've got a problem. Or even on first down, to put them in third-and-long and create some negative yards."

When they face Philip Rivers on Sunday, the Chiefs will be trying to stop the one Chargers player who has been the most consistent this season. Although he committed critical turnovers in the last two games, Rivers leads the NFL with a 107.8 passer rating. He's thrown 19 touchdown passes and just six interceptions.

Tomlinson, meanwhile, said he's the healthiest he's been since injuring his right big toe late in the season-opening loss against Carolina. The two-time league rushing champion has been held to 551 yards and four touchdowns.

"We've definitely got to get the run going and we've got to continue to make sure we run the football," Tomlinson said. "Right now I'm only averaging 17 carries a game. That's a point of emphasis that we do got to run the ball more."

Tomlinson said he thinks the Chargers are committed to the run.

"I just think we have been throwing the ball successfully. And so, obviously, when you're moving the ball and you're throwing the ball well you want to continue to do that. Sometimes you don't get to run the ball as much as you want to, but I think we are committed to running the ball."

Chiefs running back Larry Johnson, suspended for the week by the NFL for violating the player conduct policy, will not be in San Diego, missing his fourth straight game.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 13, 2008

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