NFL San Diego Chargers

Shaun Phillips gave the San Diego Chargers and their fans a reason to be optimistic

Shaun Phillips

Tim Fuller-US Presswire

Shaun Phillips was a fourth round pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 2004 NFL Draft.  Phillips became a primary starter at linebacker and recorded 11.5 sacks in 14 games during the 2006 season which ranked ninth among all NFL players.

Phillips had at least seven sacks in every season from 2005-2010 and made a Pro Bowl during the 2010 season when he recorded 11 sacks, which was tied for 10th in the league, as well as seven pass deflections and an interception.

Phillips battled a foot injury last season, missed four games and while he had two interceptions, he had just 3.5 sacks.  Phillips recorded two sacks in Monday’s win against the Oakland Raiders.  Oakland only allowed 25 sacks last season which was tied for fourth in the NFL.

San Diego finally got after Carson Palmer because in five previous games against the Chargers, he was sacked six times.  The Lightning Bolts had three sacks as a team on Monday with Phillips and Donald Butler combining for all of them.

San Diego needs a boost in their pass rush because they had 32 team sacks in 2011.  This was tied with the Cleveland Browns for 23rd out of 32 teams.  This is just one game, but Phillips could be returning to form for the Chargers.

San Diego also had seven sacks as a team last year when they sent five or more pass rushers which was 31st in the NFL.  San Diego’s pass rush will be tested again on Sunday because they will play the Tennessee Titans.

Tennessee’s offensive line was tied for second last season in the NFL as they allowed just 24 sacks.  It will take a collective effort to build on the momentum from Monday.