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Chargers lament loss, not status as team
SAN DIEGO – No one likes to lose, but dialogue bantered about the post-game locker room Sunday and Chargers Park this week has exuded confidence.
San Diego (1-1) feels disappointed after reviewing the 35-21 loss to New England but knows it lost on the road to a capable team that finished 14-2 last season and didn’t see anything on film that precludes the Chargers from playing well going forward.
“We’re not going to hang our heads and pout and gripe about it. We’ve got to go,” Philip Rivers said. “There’s nothing that you look at and go, ‘Oh man, this is going to be rough for a while if we can’t get some of this fixed. It’s just who we are.’”
The Chargers gained 470 yards of offense, played solid in kick coverage and made some nice defensive stops in the second half in the loss, all positives.
“I’m not a big stats guy, but you look at the stats row-by-row and it’s almost identical every single category except four turnovers (to) zero,” Rivers said.
San Diego fell behind Minnesota by 10 points Week 1 before a come-from-behind win but couldn’t catch the Patriots.
“It’s a big concern and it’s directly related to one thing,” Head Coach Norv Turner said of early deficits. “We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball and we’ve got to find a way to create turnovers.”
TURNOVERS AN ISSUE: Turner absolved Rivers of blame for New England nose tackle Vince Wilfork’s interception, but said the quarterback tried to force the ball to Gates on the other pick. He also called Mike Tolbert’s fourth-quarter fumble an “unforced” error.
“Offensively, I think we’re trying to force big plays when they’re not there,” Turner said. “If we’ll take what the play gives us, we have a lot of guys that can and will make big plays if they execute the play when it’s there.”
DOESN’T MATTER WHO: Vincent Jackson had a “monster day,” Turner said.
“We’re an equal-opportunity group. I’d like to get the ball to (Antonio) Gates, but if they’re going to let us throw to Vincent 10 times for 172 yards (I’ll take it),” he said, adding Jackson and Jeromey Clary played significantly better than they did Week 1.
STATUS OF WRs: Several Chargers left Sunday’s game to be examined by the team medical staff at times, but receiver Malcom Floyd (muscle strain) is the only one in current danger of missing practice time this week, Turner said.
Patrick Crayton practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for the first time in several weeks and should be available to play. The Chargers kept an extra defensive and special teams player, part of the reason Crayton was inactive Sunday.
Vincent Brown missed more time than Crayton and is practicing but isn’t expected to be asked to contribute for at least a few weeks, Turner said.
SHOES FOR KIDS: The Chargers will donate 1,000 pairs of shoes to children in need Tuesday as part of the team’s 23rd-annual Back-to-School Shoe Distribution.
Chargers President Dean Spanos and Payless ShoeSource paid for the shoes. Philip Rivers, Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews, Mike Tolbert and Quentin Jammer will help the children pick out shoes at four different Payless ShoeStore locations in San Diego.
HISPANIC HERITAGE: As one element of a multi-pronged Hispanic Heritage celebration by the Chargers, the team will visit the Chula Vista Learning Center Charter School on Tuesday.