Defensively, the Chargers have held seven of their last eight opponents to 17 points or fewer, and they stopped Indy on back-to-back possessions at game's end. "We're all on the same page now," defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell says. "It was just a matter of us executing a little bit better and eliminating big plays. We were in position, but you've got to make the tackle. We worked hard on that."
Now comes a rematch with New England, which not only beat the Chargers 38--14 in Week 2 in Foxborough but also ended their season last January with a 24--21 playoff victory in San Diego. There were hard feelings after that game when several Patriots mocked San Diego linebacker Shawne Merriman by performing a version of his Lights Out celebration on the Chargers' logo at midfield.
"We definitely haven't forgotten the way they were dancing," Gates said. "But our motivation from [that] isn't going to get it done. You've still got to beat them. You've still got to go out and execute.
"It's going to be tough for us, but we wouldn't want it any other way. That makes the reward just that much better."