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Chargers' Fortitude Being Put to an Early Test
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The Chargers could very easily be 2-0 instead of 0-2. But in the end, how close they came to being undefeated instead of winless means nothing.
The reality is the Bolts sit here two weeks into the season with a pair of heartbreaking losses under their belt.
“We’re sitting here 0-2, and feel we should be sitting here 2-0,” Head Coach Anthony Lynn said. “The hard work and commitment this team gives every single week; the record doesn’t reflect that. This team keeps putting ourselves in this situation (but) I believe we will figure out how to win these close games.”
According to Philip Rivers, the team is about to learn what they are made of with the rival Kansas City Chiefs heading to town next week.
So, what’s his message to the team?
“It’s really simple,” he bluntly said. “Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. You find out about our group (and) what we always talk about. The tightness. The toughness. The character of our group. It’s times like these that it gets tested. We have a division opponent coming in next week that’s not going to have any sympathy for us losing two tough ones at the buzzer. So, we can be sick about it for a little while, but then we’d better get ready to go.”
“We’re going to find out what the character of our team is,” Russell Okung said, echoing Rivers’ sentiments. “What the identity of our team is…. Honestly, I’ve been here before. I’ve been 2-4, trying to figure out who we are, what’s going on and what the answers are. It’s familiar. All I know how to do is take on the next day, one step at a time, one day at a time. I have a job to do. Tomorrow, we’ll come in, do our lift, make our corrections.”
They simply have no other choice.
“It’s not like (these losses) are happening for no reason,” Joey Bosa said. “ There are reasons why it’s happening, and we have to fix them.”
The Chargers never envisioned themselves in this situation a week ago, with a pair of missed field goals in a matter of six days putting them in an early hole. Still, the leaders on this team know there is a lot of football left ahead of them.
Just ask Antonio Gates.
“One thing I learned about this league is that it’s a marathon. You come into a season with the idea that you want to start fast. But at the end of the day, you tally up 16 games, and they start picking who gets seeded where. Obviously, we didn’t finish the way we would have liked (these first two games), but at the end of the day we have to continue. It’s a process. It’s a marathon. We’ll try to continue to get better every single week.”
So what does number 85 say to his teammates?
“The thing that we talk about, more than likely, it sounds redundant to teammates. When you want to be a champion, it’s doing the same things over and over. Hearing the same things over and over. You hear me say the word sacrifice. You hear me say the word commitment. Trust. Those are the words you are going to constantly hear me say all year, because that’s what it takes. When you’re dealing with guys who are younger, that this is all new to, you tend to try to keep them focused week in and week out. There are going to be peaks and valleys in the season. You just try to stay focused on the task at hand. That’s what we try to implement in that locker room, and coach does a wonderful job explaining it.”