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Rivers, Bosa Excited to Play Meaningful December Football
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Philip Rivers has been in this position before, although not in a number of years.
For Joey Bosa, this is a whole new experience he’s craved.
After two straight losing seasons in which the Bolts had nothing to play for but pride, the Chargers enter the final four weeks controlling their own destiny in the AFC West.
They’re determined to make it a December to remember.
While it’s been a few years since the Chargers have been in this position, Rivers stated the mood around the team is similar to previous teams who entered the postseason on a high note.
Now it’s about fighting their way into the playoffs.
“Yeah, it does feel similar,” Rivers said. “Again, it’s been a little while. I guess it hasn’t been (too) long. You look back in 2014, we were obviously going to Kansas City with a chance to win and (get) in. And in ‘13 we were in. But yes, it does feel like that. I think especially the way we’re playing. The best years we’ve had were where we won a handful in a row late in the year. And we were really playing well late. That’s the best-case scenario.”
Still, it’s important to note this is a new experience for many on the Bolts’ roster. In fact, 39 of the 53 players currently on the team weren’t Chargers the last time they played a December game with postseason implications.
“I do think as you get into December, where we can actually say we’re a part of the playoff hunt, that you acknowledge that. We have a lot of young players who haven’t. Gosh, whoever’s been here the past two years…they haven’t had a meaningful December game the last few years.”
One of those players is Joey Bosa.
Nonetheless, it’s important to note Bosa’s no stranger to the big stage as he helped lead Ohio State to a national championship. Still, he believes these last few games to try to get into the postseason will be vastly different than what he experienced in college.
“It’s a grind getting to the last quarter of the season,” he said. “That’s where you separate yourself from the rest of the league. This is new to me. Being at Ohio State is a completely different story than when you’re trying to play into the playoff picture here. It’s a new atmosphere to me, so we’ll see how it is.”
Another thing that’s been different is the energy in the locker room compared to other stages of the season.
“Oh yeah,” he responded when asked. “We’re playing for something now. We’re knocking on the door. Last year, we knew we were out. Not a real good feeling, the whole team vibe is down, and it’s hard to come into work with a positive attitude every day. But things haven’t changed around here for the past eight to nine weeks. It’s come here, get to work and win our next game.”
Should they do just that, the Bolts believe they’ll be in good position come the postseason.
Citing teams in recent seasons, Rivers noted the ones who have done damage in the playoffs are those who clinch their spot with a hot streak down the stretch.
“Look at teams that found a way to get in, wherever they were, teams that were six seeds that got in, they were just playing the best at the right time,” he explained. “So, I’m certainly not looking that far ahead. We’ve got a whole quarter of the season to go. I think we have a shot.”
First things first though; the Bolts need to just take it one game at a time and not get too far ahead of themselves.
“We know that,” Rivers continued. “And we know how quickly that can go the other way. We’ve by no means made it. We have four tough football games ahead of us starting this week.”