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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Tue., Nov. 24, 2015 10:00 AM PST
Not concerned with short week
SAN DIEGO – By Monday afternoon, the Chargers had forgotten the series of crushing losses suffered during the last three weeks.
“With games coming as fast as they’ve been coming, you don’t have any choice but to forget about it, put it in the memory bank and move on,” Takeo Spikes said.
Players and coaches also seem to care less about readying for one of the most critical home games of the season with just four days of rest and prep time.
“We have a lot of great character in this locker room and we’ll continue to fight,” Quentin Jammer said. “Four and four, we’ve been here before. We’ll continue to fight and we’ll see where we’re at after it’s all said and done.”
To understand how well San Diego started the season, the Bolts (4-4) have absorbed three consecutive disappointments and still are tied for first in the AFC West. To stay there in what’s shaping into hotly-contested division, the Chargers need to handle their most familiar opponents.
That means answering the bell for what’s expected to be one of the more intense, aggressive games of this season. To prepare, San Diego has to be sharp as ever mentally to compensate for the lack of physical repetition.
“You can’t go out there and actually go through the reps,” Spikes said. “You need this time to regenerate the body. It’s more important than ever that everybody understands the mental aspect of it has to be sharp.”
Said Head Coach Norv Turner: “I’d like their bodies to feel like it’s Sunday morning when we get going (Thursday).”
YEOMAN’S EFFORT: Mike Tolbert returned from a hamstring injury to carry the ball 15 times in the first half alone and accounted for 142 total yards of offense.
Playing perhaps his best game of the season in terms of getting upfield for tough yards and not trying to create too much by running sideways, Tolbert, seemingly with eyes in the back of his head, still made several defenders miss, high-stepping past a diving A.J. Hawk.
Tolbert had to carry the load with Ryan Mathews (groin) out. Jacob Hester got one carry on third-and-1, but Tolbert handled every other handoff Sunday.
“You’re asking a back to not really take any rests,” Philip Rivers said. “There’s a bunch of backs in this league that would like to hold up that hand and come out after every good run. He stood in there and played every play.
“Guys like him, they’re the reason we haven’t faltered in these tough times. Sometimes the most trying times are the most gratifying in the long run.”
CONFIDENCE UP: San Diego scored three touchdowns in the final 17 minutes of the game Sunday, then got well within Packers territory on two other drives. The 38 points, most by the Chargers in 20 games, proved San Diego’s offense still is capable of scoring in bunches.
“I think it was a large confidence-builder with Philip, myself, and our entire offense to come down and put together (drives) like that and finally get some touchdowns on the board without field goals,” said Vincent Jackson, who caught touchdowns of 23, 5 and 29 yards.
“When we have to go and press on the gas, we can go.”
The Chargers’ mindset seems cemented. Every player seems unified by the impetus to keep grinding, no matter what the record, score or game situation. There wasn’t a perceptible change on the sideline when San Diego fell behind 45-24 nearly five minutes into the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got nobody in here that’s going to back down and turn the other way just because we’ve got the Green Bay Packers or anybody in front of us,” Vincent Brown said. “No matter how much time’s on the clock, everybody’s going to fight, and we fought to the end.”