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Inside the Chargers' Dominating Defensive Effort

Although Melvin Gordon put up a lights out performance on Sunday, the Bolts defense dominated as well in the 43-35 win over the Tennessee Titans.

With a thin linebacking corps and a secondary still rotating players, the defense had an impressive showing by holding the Titans offense to just 80 rushing yards and creating a bevy of turnovers throughout the day, two of which went for touchdowns.

"We've always talked about creating turnovers and that's why we've done a nice job week in and week out of doing that," Head Coach Mike McCoy said.  "You always talk about stripping certain things and it pays off."

"As a defense, that's our mindset," added Joey Bosa.  "We want to change the game every chance we possibly get.  Anytime we can get the ball and give it back to our offense or get seven, it's big time.  It feels great."

And get the ball they did.  The defense had three total turnovers (one fumble, two interceptions) and their two touchdown performance was the first since the 31-13 win against the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012.

In the third quarter heading into San Diego territory, Marcus Mariota kept the ball and rushed off right end.  However, Korey Toomer came in to force the fumble on the quarterback.  Although Toomer couldn't hold onto the recovery, the ball rolled upfield and Dwight Lowery picked it up and ran it back 36 yards into the end zone for the Bolts' first defensive touchdown.

"I knew he was going to try to fake it, so I wanted him to fake and think that I was going to him," Toomer said.  "But I ended up just trying to hit the ball as hard as I could and it came out.  Melvin Ingram made another big play (and) I tried to scoop and score, but some things happened so I ended up pushing the ball forward so our defensive players could get it.D-Lo (Dwight Lowery) made a great play."

"Any time you score on defense, it changes the momentum of the game," added Lowery.  "Any time we can get the ball and score, it's going to put more pressure on the opposing team.  It was a huge play for our team and a huge play for our defense."

The second defensive score on the day came in the fourth quarter.  Facing a crucial 3rd-and-6 from their own 29, Marcus Mariota lobbed a pass in the direction of Kendall Wright.  However, Brandon Flowers cut in front of the receiver to pick off the ball and run it back 33 yards for the touchdown.

While Flowers said "it felt good to make a key play that was big for our football team," his teammates also lauded praises on the cornerback who notched two tackles for loss and was second on the defense in total tackles on the day (five).

"He's a veteran guy so we kind of lean on him when it comes to playing," said Casey Hayward, who is tied for a league-leading five interceptions.  "He started out the game with some key tackles and when he plays like that, the game comes easy for him."

After rushing for 214 yards last week, the Titans only notched 80 on the ground against the Chargers.  Holding the third-ranked rushing team in the league to such a minimal amount was of the utmost importance.

"Overall, I feel like we tried to come in and dominate on the defensive side, especially up front," Hayward added.  "We know they average 155 in the running game and (because) they only had 80 today, we did a good job."

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