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News » San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2008-10-03

San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2008-10-03

San Diego Chargers Inside Slant 2008-10-03
The Chargers, considered one of the AFC's elite teams, head to Miami Sunday for a ho-hum game against the Dolphins, one of the AFC's non-elite teams.

Not so fast.

That was the mantra from the Chargers, taking note of the different vibe generating from South Florida.

That happens when the Dolphins (1-2) did something the Chargers (2-2) haven't done in their last two playoff appearances -- beat the New England Patriots.

That got the Chargers -- and the rest of the NFL's -- attention.

"Absolutely," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said. "Because I really throw out the first two games and don't really count them -- new coaching staff, it always takes time to get used to a new coaching staff.

"I judge them on their last game they had, which was the Patriots. And they had a heck of a showing and it's going to be a heck of a challenge for us."

The Chargers are back at .500 after surviving an up-and-down outing last Sunday in Oakland. They could be better, they could be worse.

"No harm, no foul -- that is kind of the way I think of it," Tomlinson said. "At 2-2 and one game out of first place in our division, it wasn't the greatest (start) but it certainly wasn't the worse."

Especially compared to 2007.

"I thought we've done a lot of good things," quarterback Philip Rivers said. "We are 2-2 and if you go off last year, we are a game better.

"But it's not consolation to how close we are to being unblemished.

"I think we battled back and shown some grit and fight to get back to .500 and we know what this month of October is going to bring and we are ready for it."

This is the first of three daunting trips. The team goes to Miami, Buffalo and then London.

But that's down the, well, road. What is right in front of the Chargers -- an improved Dolphins team playing confident and at home -- is the main focus.

"They are really a sound football team," coach Norv Turner said. "They got veteran players; they don't get out of position much. They are playing good defense and they created some offense against New England."

Ah yes, New England -- the biggest Dolphins win since they won last year to potentially avoid a 0-16 season.

"They got everyone's attention," Turner said. "Obviously, it is a dramatic change. It's an offense that was spread out and they great success and got the ball in the hands of real skilled player."

The Chargers have plenty of those. They also have the feet back under them after starting 0-2 and evening their books.

But they can't go to sleep on the revved Patriots.

"They are coming off a bye week and I think they still have some momentum coming off New England," Rivers said. "Like it is every week in this league, it's a challenge to go on the road and win."

SERIES HISTORY: 26th meeting. Dolphins lead series, 13-12, and the Dolphins have won six straight. The Chargers haven't won a game in South Florida in more than 27 years -- the epic overtime game that is considered among the greatest games in NFL history. Their last win in the series came in the 1994 Divisional Playoffs, the Chargers' lone Super Bowl season.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 3, 2008

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