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Still, San Diego has 20 opening day starters back, and Tomlinson believes maturity, rather than new schemes, will push the Chargers past Indy and New�England in the AFC. "We played well last season, but we made mistakes against good teams," says the three-time All-Pro, who set NFL records for total touchdowns (31), rushing touchdowns (28) and points (186) in his remarkable 2006 season. "We've got to play smarter, and I think that is about experience. We didn't know how to handle some situations, and that led to those mistakes."
The assumption, of course, is that the Chargers now know how to handle themselves. And as long as Turner doesn't get in the way, they won't be stopped short of the Super Bowl. "Norv understands we've been successful before him," Tomlinson says. "He knows he just needs to put on the finishing touches."
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
WITH 2006 STATISTICS