San Diego Chargers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Both the Chargers and Buccaneers evened their records at 4-4 with victories in Week 9.

San Diego won 31-13 on Thursday night, knocking off the division-rival Kansas City Chiefs. Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 90 percent of his passes (18 of 20) and threw two touchdowns while the San Diego defense got two scores: Shaun Philips’ fumble-return touchdown and Demorrio William’s 59-yard interception-return TD.


“We played a complete game,” says Chargers head coach Norv Turner. “Getting a win was big.”

San Diego will need to slow down Tampa Bay’s offense, which has scored at least 28 points in a team-record four consecutive games. Leading the way has been rookie running back Doug Martin, who last week became only the second player in NFL history to rush for at least 250 yards (251) and four touchdowns in a game. Martin had touchdown runs of 70, 67, 45 and one yards in the victory at Oakland and is the only player in league history with three TD runs of at least 40 yards in a game.

“I’ve got to step back and just look at it,” says Martin, who grew up in nearby Stockton, California. “It’s surreal. I was just doing my job out there. I’m honored.”

Martin, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month for October, has 486 scrimmage yards in his past two games, the most by a player in a two-game span in a season since Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton in 1977.

“What can I say about him that hasn’t already been said and will be exalted upon later,” says Buccaneers veteran defensive back Ronde Barber. “He’s turned into a heck of a player here these past two weeks. Just the way he’s handled the pressure that he’s had to be the main guy here in our offense, that’s impressive.”

November 7, 2012

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