September 16, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers center Nick Hardwick (61) yells on the bench late in the fourth quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE
Bolts & Dolts is a weekly series where I recap the San Diego Chargers' most recent game and point out players, coaches and position groups that had particularly good or particularly bad games. Guys that played to expectations are typically left off of this list.
Jackie Battle - 14 carries, 69 rush yds, 2 rush TDs
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Mr. Battle is still a one-dimensional player on offense. Having him on the field limits the passing game, which makes him almost only useful in the second half of games where the Chargers have a lead and just want to burn the clock. Still, there's something to be said for those guys and when the Bolts needed him to be that guy he came off the bench and did the job.
Dante Rosario - 4 catches, 48 rec yds, 3 rec TDs
When the Chargers signed Rosario in the offseason, my thought was that he was added as a threat in the red zone. The Bolts had learned, first hand, that Dante could catch TDs. On Sunday, they realized just what kind of weapon they had. Granted, the defense was all over Malcom Floyd once the team got near the end zone, but Rosario got open and caught all four passes thrown his way.
Atari Bigby - 4 tackles
In his first two games, Bigby has already looked better than Bob Sanders did in any of his starts last season. He can seemingly do it all, from playing man coverage against a TE to blitzing or playing a deep zone. If the Chargers can find a way to keep him healthy, they may have found a solution to the Strong Safety problem.
Shaun Phillips - 3 tackles, 2 QB Hits
It certainly looks fun to be Shaun Phillips right now. He no longer has to cover TEs, meaning he can focus entirely on rushing the QB or stopping the run, and he's completely healthy. On top of that, defenses have stopped using two blockers against him because they need them to stop other guys on the defense. Phillips seems to win his one-on-one matchup on almost every play, and was a disruptive force all game against both the Raiders and the Titans.
Norv Turner gave game balls to the entire offensive and defensive lines of the San Diego Chargers, and for good reason. The defensive line has been downright dominant, and is currently 1st in the league in run defense. The offensive line has a few flaws, but seems to be figuring out how to work with those flaws and how to highlight its strengths. Nick Hardwick, in particular, had an outstanding game.
Martin had zero stats for the game. However, in the second quarter, Martin tried his damndest to give all the momentum back to the Tennessee Titans with a hit on a sliding Jake Locker that added 15 yards on to a 10 yard run. It immediately worked, as Locker started completing passes and the Titans drove 81 yards (far and away their longest drive of the game) and ended up with a field goal. That penalty was so stupid that it needed to be highlighted again.
Takeo Spikes - 1 tackle
Where the hell has Spikes been these first two weeks? I was concerned with Demorrio Williams was taking his spot on 3rd downs against the Raiders, but against the Titans it seems Williams was getting more time on the field the Spikes was. That's a bit disconcerting, but it hasn't led to anything terrible yet. If anything, Williams is showing himself to be a capable coverage LB.