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Morning Links: Fluker among top rookies

Good morning. In this ESPN Insider piece, San Diego Chargers offensive lineman D.J. Fluker checks in at No. 10 in Mel Kiper Jr.’s weekly rookie rankings. Keenan Allen is at No. 16. Here’s what Kiper had to say about Fluker:

“Has been a solid all-around performer at right tackle for the Chargers, proving to be a key reason Philip Rivers has enjoyed such an outstanding year so far. Fluker broke into the league matched up against J.J. Watt, and, although that was a struggle, he's been better since, improving his run blocking (which we expected to be good) but also holding up well as a pass-blocker. Did you see him flying down the field to make a block against Washington?”

Pat Kirwan of CBSSports.com highlights San Diego’s goal-line struggles to illustrate being successful in those situations is critical to a team’s success. Kirwan: “The most successful team over the past three years going into 2013 for scoring touchdowns in goal-to-go situations is the New England Patriots. From 2010-12 New England reached a goal-to-go situation 123 times and scored a touchdown 98 times or 79.6 percent of the time (45 rushing touchdowns and 53 passing touchdowns). Tom Brady, who is as slow as Philip Rivers, had 8 of those rushing touchdowns.”

Khaled Elsayed of Pro Football Focus places Philip Rivers on the second team of his midseason All-Pro team.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego discusses the relationship between GM Tom Telesco, head coach Mike McCoy and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. Telesco worked with Manning as a member of the personnel department in Indianapolis, and McCoy served as Manning’s offensive coordinator in Denver.

Chris Wesserling of NFL.com has this to say about Ryan Mathews in his midseason running back rankings: “Mathews has been a hammer between the tackles this season. The Chargers would have two more victories this season if they had put the ball in his hands at the goal line.”

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com writes that the Broncos will present a big-time challenge for San Diego’s defense.

Nick Shepherd of Bolts From The Blue writes that the Chargers were not properly prepared leading up to the Washington game during the bye week.