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Chargers, Humphries Can't Get a Handle

September 15, 1997|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Carolina quarterback Kerry Collins made his first start of the season Sunday and San Diego's oft-injured quarterback, Stan Humphries, perhaps wished he had stayed out another week.

The Panthers' blitzing defense sacked Humphries seven times and came up with four fumbles in the second half in a 26-7 victory in the Chargers' home opener.

Humphries, who missed last week's victory at New Orleans because of a dislocated left shoulder, fumbled three times, twice without being hit. "I take full responsibility for losing this football game," he said. "You can't lose three fumbles and expect to win."

Andre Royal had three sacks, and Micheal Barrow had two sacks, recovered one fumble and forced another. Carolina (2-1) was playing without injured starting linebackers Lamar Lathon and Sam Mills.

Meanwhile, Collins, playing for the first time since breaking his jaw Aug. 9, threw two touchdown passes to tight end Wesley Walls and John Kasay had another big game with four field goals. Last week, Kasay kicked three in the fourth quarter of Carolina's 9-6 victory at Atlanta.

The Chargers (1-2) have struggled to catch on to first-year Coach Kevin Gilbride's multiple offense, and Pro Bowl receiver Tony Martin is tired of excuses.

"It ain't that complex to me," Martin said. "I grasp it just fine. So until we respond, we're going to have a lot of Ls [losses]."

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