Here's how you know that Phillips is having a great game: When his name is mentioned at least 3 times over the course of the game, and no other Chargers OLBs' names are mentioned. With seemingly nobody to take any pressure off of him, Phillips still managed to be in the face of Mark Sanchez for most of the afternoon. He finished the game with 4 tackles and the only 2 sacks for San Diego.
Led the team in tackles and scored the only defensive touchdown of the season. I said on Saturday's High Boltage Radio show that rookies (and Butler is, for all intents and purposes, a rookie) that seem to get better each week usually take big steps towards getting better over bye weeks. Donald did exactly that and set the tone early and often. So far this season, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Butler has been a formidable replacement for Kevin Burnett.
Did anyone else notice the Chargers defense turning into a wet paper bag as soon as Weddle left the game? That was his own personal "Peyton Manning for 2011 NFL MVP" moment, right there.
Eric finished the game with 5 tackles (remember the old BFTB adage "It's never good when your Safety leads the team in tackles"? Weddle was second on the team and Gregory was tied with Butler for the lead in tackles in this game) and a timely interception in the end zone, so timely that I'll try not to yell at him for taking it out of the end zone like he's Antonio Cromartie.
Not that Michael had a great game, he only had 11 touches and wasn't thrown to once, but he looked like the Mike Tolbert of old for the first time since Weeks 1 & 2. He bowled a few people over, scored a touchdown and averaged 5.3 yards per carry (he had been averaging about 2 yards per carry on the season).
Playing on a bad foot, Gates proved that all the team needed to boost its red zone offense back to previous glory was for him to get back on the field. Gates ended up as the game's leader in receptions and reception yards, and was the only Chargers player to catch a touchdown pass.