Dante Rosario and Jackie Battle step up in place of Antonio Gates and Ryan Mathews
The San Diego Chargers won yesterday’s regular season home opener against the Tennessee Titans by a final score of 38-10. This was San Diego’s ninth consecutive victory against the Tennessee franchise, dating back to 1993, when the Titans played in Houston.
San Diego played yesterday’s game without 2011 Pro Bowl running back Ryan Mathews. The Chargers also played without eight-time Pro Bowl and five-time All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates.
San Diego received some big time production from two of their backups. Dante Rosario filled in and did a great job for Gates. Rosario had four receptions, 48 yards and three touchdown receptions in yesterday’s game.
Rosario spent most of his career with the Carolina Panthers. Before yesterday’s game, Rosario had five TD receptions in 78 games. He caught all of Philip Rivers‘ three TD passes in the win against Tennessee.
The Chargers also got a huge boost from backup RB Jackie Battle. Battle had 14 rushing attempts, 69 yards and two touchdowns. In 48 games with the Kansas City Chiefs, Battle had four rushing touchdowns.
San Diego is notoriously known for being an NFL team that hits a wall early in the season. San Diego started the 2004 season with a 3-3 record before finishing the season at 12-4. The Lightning Bolts started 2005 with a 3-4 record before finishing that season at 9-7.
San Diego had a 5-5 record through 10 games during the 2007 season and finished with an 11-5 record. They were 4-8 through the first 12 games in 2008, but finished with an 8-8 record.
San Diego was 2-3 to start the 2009 season before finishing with a 13-3 record, while they were 2-5 to start the 2010 season and finished at 9-7.
This is the second year in a row that San Diego appears to be on their way to a fast start because they were 4-1 through their first five games in 2011. San Diego would eventually go on a six game losing streak last year, but hopefully they will avoid disaster this season.