Source: USA Today
The Chargers already have two wins and if you think that's not a big deal, you don't know their history under Norv Turner.
The Chargers have traditionally struggled from the gate in Turner's previous four years and proof-positive is their 2-5 mark from last year.
But the Dolphins roll into town Sunday with the Chargers looking to go two games over .500 in the season's opening month.
Their victory over the struggling Chiefs was just that — a struggle for the Chargers. But they care not one bit.
"Norv was talking about getting to win No. 3 and that's the only thing that matters," said Philip Rivers, who has thrown two interceptions in three straight games for the first time in his career. "This win would've counted no different if it was a wider margin of victory or no interceptions, it still counts the same and that is all I'm concerned with."
Something missing from Turner's angst list is the play of second-year running back Ryan Mathews. It seems the first-round pick from last season has turned the corner and is blossoming into the player the Chargers had expected.
He had two more rushing touchdowns in the win over Kansas City, and is contributing as a receiver, too.
"It's just me being more comfortable," said Mathews, who is tied with Mike Tolbert with a team-high three touchdowns. "With the game slowing down, I'm more patient, and in the pass-blocking, too. I'm comfortable back there and I feel good."
The Chargers need to find out what is ailing Rivers, other than some nagging injuries. He's looked sharp this season only in spurts and some of that has to do with his ribs hurting.
"I just get caught in the same spot and it doesn't feel too great," said Rivers, who has seven turnovers in three games. "But it's nothing more than bumps and bruises.
"I really don't feel out of sync. I'm obviously not playing my best but again, you can only worry about the next play and the next game and that's what we're always going to do.''
In throwing for a career-high 4,710 yards last year, Rivers had but 13 interceptions. The year before, he had just nine.
So Rivers being sloppy with the football is odd, and something the Chargers need to get fixed quickly. Although Turner isn't concerned about Rivers' early season hiccups.
"I have been around Philip long enough to know he will go now on a stretch, and it will start soon, where he'll go six or eight games without throwing an interception," Turner said. "That's what we're working for."
Well that, and to reach 3-1.
"Two-and-one is what's important and we're going to work like crazy this week to get to No. 3," Rivers said.
UNDER THE RADAR: Rookie cornerback Marcus Gilchrist, a second-round pick, showed well when subbing for an injured Quentin Jammer. If Jammer is down with a hamstring injury, Gilchrist is going to be thrust into the starting lineup this week.
BY THE NUMBERS: One stands out here as that is the number of Chargers' home games starting Sunday through Nov. 5. The Chargers welcome the Dolphins, then play at Denver, have a bye, are at Jets and at the Chiefs to finish a difficult slice of their schedule.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
—TE Antonio Gates (foot) wasn't able to play Sunday but the team is hopeful a full week of rest will have him available against the Dolphins.
—CB Quentin Jammer (hamstring) was hurt during Sunday's game and didn't return. He could be down this week, replaced by Marcus Gilchrist.
—SS Bob Sanders (knee) didn't practice but the belief is he will play on Sunday.
—DE Corey Liuget (ankle), the team's top pick, wasn't able to go in his third NFL game and he will be monitored later in the week.
—WR Malcom Floyd (groin) was doubtful before the game but was able to play a handful of snaps. It's believed he didn't aggravate his injury and will be OK for Sunday.
—DE Jacques Cesaire (knee) was hurt during the game and didn't return. He will be evaluated later in the week.