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Rested Bolts turn focus to Chiefs

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers sat in front of his television at his San Diego home and cheered for the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday, but when Tyler Thigpen’s fourth-down run in the fourth quarter came up short, Rivers conceded what the Chargers have known for the last three months.

    “We can’t depend on those kind of games and Denver losing,” Rivers said. “We’ve got to go play and win. You hope it works out, but we’ve done things to put ourselves in this situation so we can’t count on getting bailed out.”

    A Kansas City win over Denver Sunday would have made the Chargers’ dim playoff hopes a little brighter, but the Bolts have said throughout their 2008 season that they’ll continue to focus on what they can control.

    “We’ve got to win first and foremost,” Rivers said. “We can control us and only us. I think we made it clear after Atlanta, however it plays out we’re going to play hard all the way to the end. We’re fighting to hopefully finish at .500 and never know if we’ll play more after that or not. We’re going to keep fighting.”

    Head Coach Norv Turner said Monday that his team will have to play much better this weekend than they did in their Week 14 win over the Raiders in order to pick up a victory at a tough venue. The Chargers will try to win in consecutive seasons at Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 1988-89.

    But Turner is encouraged by the fact that so many of his young players are performing at a high level, and Rivers feels positive because of the way the Chargers put together their most complete game of the season last week.

    “In different spells we’ve done a lot of good things, we’d just yet to put them all together,” Rivers said. “The defense was playing outstanding the other night and got us a short field with a bunch of turnovers. Then we were able to get some big chunks in the pass and sustain some run and get some first downs. Finally everything was kind of fitting, whereas in some of these other games, as close as they’ve been, both sides, all three phases haven’t come together as well as we’ve needed them to. We need to keep it going.”

    Rivers also likes his team’s mindset heading into the final three weeks of the season.

    “I think the toughest part is mentally staying strong because it can beat you down and wear you down, especially when you have the expectations that we had and haven’t lived up to them,” Rivers said. “Guys have really stayed positive.”

    The Chargers are certain to be well rested when they kick things off Sunday. Players were given Friday, Saturday and Sunday off before returning for a short practice Monday. They’ll receiving their normal day off Tuesday and resume their regular schedule Wednesday morning.

    “(Thursday night games are) hard to get ready for, but once the game is over you do have a little bit of time,” Turner said. “You look at the way teams have played after a Thursday game, they usually play pretty well.”

    The first Thursday night games of this season were held in Week 10. Teams coming off a Thursday night game, both those who won and those who lost, are currently 7-1 this season. The Bengals are the only team to lose a game this season a week after playing on an NFL Network Thursday game.

    The Chargers will also be a little reenergized this week by the simple fact that they put together a complete game and won.

    “It changes your mindset, your outlook, your energy level,” Turner said. “Guys can have great individual performances but it doesn’t mean the same when you come out on the short side. We’ve got to find a way to go win in Kansas City now.”

    Injury update

    With three extra days for players to heal up, Turner believes his club will be in pretty good shape Sunday from a health standpoint. The status of fullback Mike Tolbert (shoulder), linebacker Anthony Waters (hamstring) and safety Clinton Hart (stinger) will be determined later in the week.

    Linebacker Jyles Tucker strained his hamstring against the Raiders but did practice Monday and Turner expects the second-year pro to be ready for Kansas City.


    Fans have just one more day to help deserving Chargers reach the Pro Bowl. Fan voting will continue until Tuesday at 9 am Pacific time. Fans can visit www.nfl.com/probowl to cast their ballots.

    As of last Tuesday, six Chargers were in the top five in fan voting at their respective positions. That group includes LaDainian Tomlinson (3), Antonio Gates (2), Nick Hardwick (5), Antonio Cromartie (3), Mike Scifres (3) and Darren Sproles (top vote getter amongst return specialists).

    Rivers is not currently in the top five despite the fact that he leads the NFL in passer rating (102.0) and is tied with Drew Brees for most touchdown passes (26). Defensive tackle Jamal Williams, who coaches consider to be having another Pro Bowl-caliber year, isn’t in the top five either, nor are former Pro Bowlers Kris Dielman and Kassim Osgood.

    Numbers game

    Not only was last Thursday night the Chargers’ 11th-consecutive win over the Raiders, it was their 11th-straight win in the month of December and their seventh-straight win in their powder blue jerseys.

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  2. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

    Aug 3, 2006
    #1-Back to the Powder Blues and more like the original unis. Best there ever were.

    #2-All we can do is win out in the forlorn hope that Denver royally screws up.

    #3-If we win out in style count on Norval being back.

    #4-If Norval ain't back, I got to figure on Rivera.

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