Chargers 51, Lions 14
San Diego Chargers 2007 AFC West Champions!!
(First time since 1981 for back-to-back division championships!)
What a game!! Two 100+ yd rushers in LaDainian Tomlinson and (LT, Jr.) Darren Sproles, and 2 TDs each; not to mention the team scoring the most points since 1985.
Despite missing Shawne Merriman, the defense forced a fumble and had 5 INTs; now leading the league with 27 INTs (10 in the last 3 games alone!), and Antonio Cromartie leads the league individually with 10 thus far. The rest of today’s INT club included Stephen Cooper, Shaun Phillips (who ran his back for a score), Matt Wilhelm, and Clinton Hart.
LT is leading the league in TDs by a running back (14), and also passed Eddie George and Tiki Barber to break into the top 20 all-time list for yardage by a RB; not to mention passing Jim Brown on the all-time TD list as well. Oh, and he only played half a game. Oh yeah, he also became only the 2nd player in history to reach 1,200 yds in his first 7 seasons (with Eric Dickerson.)
Philip Rivers looked like the Rivers of last season: confident, great passes, and good decision-making. And props to Norv Turner, finally, for letting the Chargers do what the Chargers do best (it also helped that LT was standing by him the whole game, presumably saying, “Keep giving it to Sproles.”)
Nate Kaeding was a perfect 3/3 for FGs and 5/5 on XPs for an impressive 15 points, and Brandon Manumaleuna scored his first TD of the season as well. Chris Chambers, Vincent Jackson and Buster Davis each had clutch catches (no scores, but that’s OK), and Andrew Pinnock was a more than worthy replacement for the injured Lorenzo Neal.
With the loss by Pittsburgh, San Diego is looking even better for that #3 seed, and is already guaranteed a home playoff game, presumably against either Cleveland or Jacksonville. I was thinking of scalping my tickets for the game, but am thinking that I really NEED to go (since I haven’t been to a playoff game since 1995 vs. Miami when I was miserably 3-months pregnant with my first daughter and threw up through the whole game. Yeah, I know you really didn’t need to know that!)
Next week the Chargers host the rapidly declining Donkeys, err Broncos on Christmas Eve, then wrap up the season in Oakland.
Shaun Phillips INT for TD!