Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/16/12

SAN DIEGO -- Reserve tight end Dante Rosario had never caught more than two touchdown passes in a season during his previous five in the NFL. On Sunday, he surpassed that mark by becoming a focal point of the Chargers' offense.

Rosario, who hadn't recorded a touchdown catch since 2009 when he was a member of the Carolina Panthers, was on the receiving end of a career-high three as the San Diego Chargers rolled to a 38-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.

A reserve player who spent last season with the Miami Dolphins and Denver Broncos, Rosario made the most of his opportunity after the Chargers decided to sit Gates, who had spent the week nursing sore ribs.

"I always prepare like it's going to be a big week, but Gates was kind of a last-second decision on whether or not he was going to play, so it wasn't a sure thing I was going to take the number of reps that I ended up taking," Rosario said.

He gave much of the credit to his success to quarterback Philip Rivers.

"All three of the touchdowns that he threw me today were in a perfect location," said Rosario, who signed with the Chargers as a free agent in March. "All three of those passes were in a place where the defender couldn't get them."

Rivers, who completed 24 of 32 passes for 284 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, connected with Rosario for a pair of first-quarter touchdowns to give the Chargers an early lead they never relinquished. The two hooked up on an 11-yard scoring pass on the Chargers' opening drive, capping a 12-play, 71-yard march for a 7-0 lead with 6:08 left in the quarter.

It took only two plays for the Titans to turn the ball back over to the Chargers, as free safety Eric Weddle picked off quarterback Jake Locker, giving the Chargers possession at the Tennessee 31. Six plays later, Rivers found Rosario again for a 4-yard scoring pass and a 14-0 Chargers lead with 4:20 remaining in the first.

Rosario, who finished with four receptions for 48 yards, caught his third touchdown late in the third quarter as the Chargers blew the contest open.

"Dante's a good player. We brought him in here because he was a good receiver and we actually brought him in here because over the last couple of seasons Gates hasn't played all of the games," San Diego coach Norv Turner said. "Dante is a receiving threat when Antonio is not here."

The Chargers controlled the contest from the start and were never threatened. In addition to Rosario's touchdown catches in the first half, they also got a 26-yard field goal from Nate Kaeding for a 17-3 halftime lead.

The Titans (0-2) had trouble generating much offense. However, they mounted a 10-play, 81-yard drive late in the second quarter that landed them on the Chargers 5 before settling for a 23-yard field goal by Rob Bironas to put them on the board.

But they never managed to get any closer than two touchdowns. Their lone touchdown occurred late in the third quarter, when Locker completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright.

"We were not able to consistently move the ball," said Locker, who completed 15 of 30 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown and an interception. "We had inconsistent drives. We did not execute the way we needed to."

Running back Chris Johnson was again limited in his production, managing just 17 yards on eight carries.

"I really don't know what's going," said Johnson, who managed just 11 yards rushing in 34-13 loss to New England last week. "I don't know how we're going to fix it but in this situation all we can do is continue to work hard."

Notes: The Chargers retired the No. 55 of Junior Seau during a brief ceremony before the game. Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, one of only three Chargers to have their number retired, spoke before the club unveiled Seau's No. 55 next to Lance Alworth's No. 19. ... Running back Ryan Mathews, who suffered a broken collarbone in the preseason, also was among the players the Chargers declared inactive, along with defensive tackle Antonio Garay. ... Titans who were inactive included defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks and linebacker Colin McCarthy.

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