The Chargers have a chance to climb over the .500 mark this Sunday in Cleveland. Here are some key notes to get you ready for the game at the Browns.
• San Diego leads the series with the Browns, 14-7-1. The Chargers have won four straight matchups, seven of the last eight and nine of the last 11. That includes three straight wins in Cleveland. The team’s last loss in Cleveland came in 2001.
• The Chargers lead the NFL in run defense, allowing just 71.2 yards per game. Four opponents were held under 60 yards: Oakland (45), Tennessee (38), New Orleans (53) and Denver (57).
• Philip Rivers is 2-0 versus the Browns and has a 118 quarterback rating in the two games (37-53-584, 2 TDs, 0 ints).
• Rivers has an overall record of 40-8 in games in which he has a passer rating of 100.0 or higher. He is the Chargers’ all-time leader in completion percentage (63.7%) and his percentage in 2012 is 66.5%.
• Rivers has started 102 consecutive games. Eli Manning is the only quarterback with more consecutive starts (126).
• Antonio Gates (8,007 yards receiving) moved into fourth on NFL’s all-time list for yards receiving among tight ends. He is 178 yards behind Dallas’ Jason Witten. In Week 3, he became only the fifth tight end in NFL history with 600 career catches.
• Gates has 78 touchdown catches, three behind the Chargers’ all-time leader, Lance Alworth, who has 81.
• The tandem of Rivers-Gates has connected on 51 touchdown passes, most by a QB-TE tandem in NFL history.
• Eric Weddle’s nine interceptions over the past 22 games (since 2011) leads the NFL.
• Shaun Phillips has 64.5 career sacks, fourth in team history. Phillips needs one sack to tie Lee Williams (65.5) for third, and he needs 2.5 to tie Gary “Big Hands” Johnson (67) for second. Phillips leads the team with 4.5 sacks, 11 pressures and six quarterback hits. He will make his 99th start on Sunday.
• Mike Scifres’ has 516 career punts, including 206 inside the 20-yard line. Of all of the players with 500 career punts, Scifres has the highest percentage of punts landed inside the 20 (39.9%) in NFL history. He needs just three punts to tied Dennis Partee for second-most punts in team history (519).
• Quentin Jammer has a chance to make an interception in a third-consecutive game for the first time in his career on Sunday.
• Norv Turner has 114 career wins, tying Don Coryell on the NFL’s all-time wins list. Turner has the best winning percentage in team history (52-34, .605 in regular season and 55-37, .598 overall).
• With a win in Week 2, A.J. Smith became the winningest general manager in franchise history. The team now has 94 wins in 2003-12 under Smith. The team won 92 games under Hall of Fame GM/coach Sid Gilman.
• Twenty-one of the 53 active players are new to the active roster this year: 11 of 25 offensive players and 10 of 25 defensive players.
• The Chargers play the sixth toughest schedule in 2012, based on their opponents’ .520 winning percentage in 2011.
• The Chargers will travel the third-most regular-season air miles of any team in the NFL (25,766). Only Oakland (28,692) and Seattle (26,200) will fly more air miles than the Bolts in 2012.
Tags: A.J. Smith, Antonio Gates, Cleveland Browns, Eric Weddle, Mike Scifres, Norv Turner, Philip Rivers, Quentin Jammer, Shaun Phillips
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The first padded practice of training camp was a physical one that started with a bang, but safety Steve Gregory shined the brightest Sunday afternoon. He broke up a pair of passes and picked off another. The fourth-year pro worked with the second team in base and the first team in nickel. He’s a great guy who you can’t help but be happy for.
Norv doesn’t do a full Oklahoma drill like his predecessor but he will throw it in there every once in a while. Ogemdi “Oggie” Nwagbuo beat Tyronne Green three times and then Louis Vasquez won a battle with Vaughn Martin. Fun stuff.
Eric Weddle talked about the secondary’s goal of eliminating big plays, and they did again Sunday. Quentin Jammer knocked away a pair of deep balls, one on a deep flag pattern where Weddle was closing over the top.
Lots of players look different when they put on the pads, but no one more than Jacob Hester. He’s put on about 10 pounds this offseason and he had a nice practice. There was a lot of inside run work and Hester could repeatedly be heard popping the pads.
When they wear the pads they do my favorite drill: one-on-one pass rush. Martin looked really good in that period, and you can really see English’s quickness off the ball when he’s isolated.
Two a days tomorrow so check back for plenty more.
Tags: Eric Weddle, Louis Vasquez, Quentin Jammer, Steve Gregory, Vaughn Martin
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Larry English was upstairs signing his contract Saturday morning but will make his first training camp appearance this afternoon.
The morning practice brought a few highlights, particularly from three receivers. Malcom Floyd seems to make a highlight-reel worthy catch every practice and did so again today. He laid out horizontally snatched a Billy Volek pass about two feet off the ground.
Earlier, Philip Rivers stepped up in the pocket and threw a deep ball down the middle of the field that seemed destined for Clinton Hart’s hands. But as Hart set up to make the grab, Vincent Jackson leaped in front and made a nifty one-handed grab.
Legedu Naanee got in the act two, reaching over a defender to make a catch in the air.
Near the end of practice, Quentin Jammer jumped an out route and came away with a nifty pick that he took down the sideline. Paul Oliver nearly came up with a pick in a similar situation.
The defense spent most of the morning in base and much to Eric Weddle’s happiness, the first-team defense didn’t give up any big plays for the third time in as many practices.
The team will be back on the field at 4 this afternoon.
Tags: Billy Volek, Eric Weddle, Larry English, Legedu Naanee, Philip Rivers, Quentin Jammer
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