Titans 7

(0-2, 0-1 away)

Chargers 40

(2-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, September 17, 2006

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA 

1 2 3 4 T
TEN 0 0 0 77
SD 3 17 6 1440

Top Performers

Passing: P. Rivers (SD) - 235 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: M. Turner (SD) - 13 CAR, 138 YDS

Receiving: K. McCardell (SD) - 5 REC, 58 YDS

'Lights Out': Chargers nearly get back-to-back shutouts

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- If Shawne Merriman has his way, the rest of the NFL will begin to recognize the San Diego Chargers as one of the league's dominant defenses.

It was over when ...
Ladainian Tomlinson got going in the second quarter. Tomlinson had modest rushing totals -- 19 carries for 71 yards -- but scored twice in the first six minutes of the second quarter to stake the Chargers to a 17-0 lead.
Game ball goes to ...
The Chargers' defense, which came within 3:09 of posting consecutive shutouts for the first time in team history. San Diego held Titans quarterback Vince Young to 7-of-19 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown, and the Chargers limited Tennessee to 218 yards of offense.
Scouts Inc.'s take ...
Even after their shutout win last Monday, the Chargers had a lot questions that needed to be answered. The end result after thrashing Tennessee? Questions answered. Philip Rivers was given a lot more leeway this week and he was sharp. The run game was even better than advertised as LaDainian Tomlinson and Michael Turner ran through and around the Titans defense all day. Defensively the Chargers front seven is as good as it gets. They got pressure and the Titans could not find any run room. The Chargers secondary was not even tested last week. This week they were and they too rose to the occasion forcing two Titans interceptions that led to points. For the Titans, it is time for the Vince Young era to begin. Kerry Collins is not the answer. Young is mobile, he is an athlete and he seemed more comfortable this week. He will have his ups and downs like any rookie, but look for Young under center next week for the entire game.

Merriman and Co. turned in another suffocating performance and came within 3:09 of consecutive shutouts for the first time in team history.

The defensive results along with a pair of LaDainian Tomlinson touchdown runs produced a 40-7 rout of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

"We want to be looked at as being the best," said Merriman, nicknamed "Lights Out" for his hard hits. "If people don't start recognizing us, we'll just have to keep at it until they do."

Merriman, who had three of San Diego's nine sacks in a 27-0 win at Oakland on Monday night, was at it again against Tennessee (0-2). The linebacker intercepted a pass, batted away two others and San Diego (2-0) held the Titans to 218 total yards and 14 first downs -- many of them late in the game.

"I'm happy I don't have to play against them," said Tomlinson, San Diego's Pro Bowl back who scored on runs of 4 and 8 yards and finished with 71 yards on 19 carries.

Tennessee ruined San Diego's shutout bid when No. 1 draft pick Vince Young threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Drew Bennett late in the fourth quarter.

The Titans advanced into Chargers' territory just twice. The first time wasn't until late in the third quarter when they got to the 45 before Quentin Jammer's interception ended the drive.

"Obviously, I'm not pleased that we have a long way to go and it will be tough," Tennessee coach Jeff Fisher said.

Merriman keyed a defense that kept constant pressure on Kerry Collins and Young, even though there were no sacks.

"We expect to play this way," Jammer said. "We play with the attitude that we will be a dominating defense. It's all about attitude."

Tomlinson's touchdowns came in the first half and Nate Kaeding kicked four field goals as San Diego began the season 2-0 for the first time since 2003.

The Chargers' offense, which was conservative in the opener, gained 476 yards -- and Philip Rivers was 25-of-35 for 235 yards, including a 12-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson in the fourth quarter. Rivers, making only his second start, attempted just 11 passes against Oakland.

"We need a little more balance," Tomlinson said. "I think you are beginning to see the beginning of a balanced offense."

Tomlinson's backup, Michael Turner, ran for 138 yards on 13 carries, including a 75-yard run late in the game.

Elias Says
The Chargers were less than four minutes from becoming the first team in 61 years to record shutouts in their first two games of a season when Vince Young threw his first NFL touchdown pass in San Diego's 40-7 victory over the Titans. But the Chargers did become the first team since John Madden's 1977 Raiders to hold their opponents scoreless for the first seven periods of a season.

San Diego's streak of 60 unanswered points to open the season was the longest since the Lions scored 78 points before allowing an opponent to score in 1970. Detroit won its first two games that season by scores of 40-0 against the Packers and 38-3 over the Bengals.

• For more Elias Says, click here

The Titans gained just 15 yards on 19 plays in the first half. Tennessee's only first down of the half came with less than six minutes left in the second quarter on a personal foul penalty against defensive end Luis Castillo, who hit Young late.

"I'm not going to take anything away from their defense," Young said. "But they didn't do anything that we haven't practiced."

Tennessee's initial first down on its own came early in the third quarter on a 12-yard pass to Bennett from Collins, who was 6-of-19 for 57 yards with two interceptions.

"There's nothing wrong with the system," Collins said. "What's wrong is when your quarterback played liked [I] did today."

Tomlinson scored on a 4-yard run early in the second quarter to put San Diego ahead 10-0 after Kaeding kicked a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter.

Tomlinson added his 8-yard run for a 17-0 lead just four minutes later. Kaeding added a 17-yard field goal with 17 seconds left in the first half for a 20-0 lead.

Kaeding's other field goals were from 35 and 44 yards.

Tomlinson tied Hall of Fame wide receiver Lance Alworth atop the Chargers' all-time list with 83 career touchdowns. Tomlinson also went over the 10,000-yard mark from scrimmage with a 5-yard run late in the second quarter.

Young, who made his debut by playing one series last week against the New York Jets, played five series this time and completed 7 of 17 passes for 106 yards. He also ran for 24 yards on six carries and fumbled once.

Game notes

Merriman, who last year as a rookie came out on most passing downs, recorded his first interception. ... Fisher said he plans to continue starting Collins and have Young spell the veteran. ... Kaeding tied his career high in field goals, set at Indianapolis on Dec. 18, 2005. ... Turner, who rushed for a career-high against the Titans, has 175 yards rushing in two games compared to 202 for Tomlinson.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1426
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5873
Total Yards218476
Yards per play3.86.5
Total Drives1211
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-24-7
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

sdFG6:30Nate Kaeding 21 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, 43 yds, 5:10
sdTD13:18LaDainian Tomlinson, 4 yd run
Drive info: 14 plays, 85 yds, 6:44
sdTD9:10LaDainian Tomlinson, 8 yd run
Drive info: 5 plays, 41 yds, 2:39
sdFG0:17Nate Kaeding 23 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 62 yds, 3:50
sdFG6:55Nate Kaeding 28 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 54 yds, 6:23
sdFG3:44Nate Kaeding 36 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 6 plays, 18 yds, 2:10
sdTD12:20Vincent Jackson, 12 yd pass from Philip Rivers
Drive info: 5 plays, 54 yds, 2:55
tenTD3:13Drew Bennett, 18 yd pass from Vince Young
Drive info: 11 plays, 69 yds, 4:50
sdTD1:58Charlie Whitehurst, 14 yd run
Drive info: 3 plays, 88 yds, 1:16