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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
The Chargers (4-5), who didn’t play a game for the first time in 10 weekends, closed within a game of Oakland and Kansas City.
Head Coach Norv Turner and the players insisted on a renewed focus inward and refused to dwell on the long-term ramifications of the divisional standings.
“Everyone wants to talk about the race and the position that everyone’s in. I really think we came to the conclusion that the best thing to do is go win a game at a time and not get caught up in the race,” Turner said.
“It’s a big game (against Denver). It’s a division game. Every one of these is going to be critical. But I’m going to focus more on getting ready for the game than the implications of the game.”
With the 24-hour news cycle, social media and national companies like ESPN that seem to keep expanding and an NFL that’s more popular than ever, coverage seems to increase exponentially each year.
Given those circumstances, how difficult is it for a collection of competitors to block it all out and remain within the parameters of Turner’s message?
“It’s really easy because you can’t control anything but (yourself), so why worry about stuff you can’t control?” Randy McMichael said. “All you can control is what’s going to happen with us in this Denver game and right now that’s all we have been focused on.”
Though the Bolts are 6-2 in their last eight games against Denver, they lost to the Broncos, 34-23, at Qualcomm Stadium on Monday Night Football following a bye last October. Denver’s impressive Week 10 performance against Kansas City reinforced San Diego’s respect for its next opponent.
“The picture looks better than it did a few weeks ago, there’s no denying that, but it really doesn’t change our approach,” Philip Rivers said. “You have to win in the division, which we haven’t done. We’re 0-for-2 so far.
“You have a Denver team that I would imagine feels like we did a week or two ago: ‘Hey, we get on a little bit of a roll, we’re right in there.’ We’re a win away from first place and a loss away from last place. Everybody’s in it and there’s still a long way to go.”
ROSTER MOVE: The Chargers signed receiver Gary Banks to the practice squad Tuesday and released receiver Kole Heckendorf. Banks played in two games and caught one pass for two yards. He has spent most of the last three seasons on the practice squad.
TICKETS REMAIN: About 2,400 general seats and 1,000 Club seats remain unsold for Monday’s 5:30 p.m. kickoff against the Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium.
Billy Ray Cyrus will sing the national anthem before the game.