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Stifling Defense Propels Bolts to Victory

After last week's 21-point lead disappeared before their eyes, the San Diego Chargers defense was determined to not let a lead like that slip away again.

In Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Bolts held the Jags scoreless through three quarters and walked out of the Q with a 38-14 win.

The defense's performance was a solid showing on all accounts, from the defensive line to the secondary.

"The character of our team and the want-to with everything we went through last week and the way they came back and responded; this is the way we play and that's the key thing," Head Coach Mike McCoy said.  "That's the most important thing; never give up, keep on playing and fight your tail off every day.  Come to work every day and do your job.  That's what our players have done, so give them a lot of credit and give our coaches a lot of credit, too." 

The Chargers held the Jaguars to just two of 11 on third down, a percentage McCoy deemed "phenomenal." 

So what changed? 

While many players attribute focusing on the basics and going back to perfecting their technique, they also approached Sunday's game differently from a mental standpoint.

"We came out and just wanted to work and hold each other accountable," mentioned Melvin Ingram.  "We wanted to go hard for 60 minutes and that was our mindset.  That was what we came out here and tried to do."

"(We had) turnovers, sacks and stopped them from scoring," added Casey Hayward.  "In the second half, we had a different mentality.  I think last week when Keenan (Allen) went down, it hurt the team.  But this week when Danny (Woodhead) went down, I felt like everyone focused.  Somebody's down but we still have to play this game and I think we did a better job doing that this week."

Along with their third down dominance, the defense had three turnovers on the day: two picks from Hayward and a sack-strip fumble caused by Melvin Ingram.   In addition, the defense also recorded 12 passes defensed.

While stats are noticeable, Jason Verrett virtually shutting down Jags wide receiver Allen Robinson went under the radar. 

"Jason is a very talented player and the thing you'll love about him is how competitive he is.  I took him out at the end of the game…I was trying to get him out earlier but they were going no huddle so I couldn't get him out.  They threw one shot in there and he was just so frustrated he gave up that one play as his last of the game….  When you do it that way and you're as talented as he is, good things are going to happen."  

While the team showed resiliency, they're not complacent and plan on carrying this level of play into Indianapolis next week.

 "We're not going to ride the waves," mentioned Manti Te'o.  "We're just going to stay even… We are going to watch the film, fix the mistakes and come back.  We've got a good Indy team that we have to go and play.  It's a marathon."

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