Early on in training camp, head coach Norv Turner instilled a motto in the Chargers: that 2012 consists of “16 one-game seasons.” To their credit, the Bolts have used it as a rallying cry, refusing to get too high after a win or down after a loss. Instead, as soon as Monday morning comes, it’s time to move on and get ready for the next game.
Thus, Turner and his team have already put Sunday night’s loss to the Saints in the rear-view mirror and are busy preparing for Monday night’s showdown against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
“It’s a different team that we’re facing, so we’ve got to put a plan together that handles the things that Denver does real well,” said the head coach. “They’re an aggressive defensive front, they give you a lot of pressure looks and they’re a balanced team that can run the ball. They’re awfully efficient in the passing game as well. What you do is put a plan together and you want to go out and play a week better. And when you get a chance to make a play that can turn a game, you have to take advantage of that play.”
The primetime match between the two AFC West rivals is the first to feature Manning at quarterback for the Broncos. While he presents a different skill set than Drew Brees, Turner sees certain similarities between the two signal callers in terms of efficiency and the rapport they’ve built with their receivers.
“They’re just different players and they run different offenses, but I look at production,” he said. “The production they’ve had through their career and the production they’ve had over the last four or five weeks when we’re getting ready to play them. And they’re outstanding. They’re outstanding with their receivers, and their tight ends are good. Peyton makes great decisions and they’re rolling offensively.”
Turner also looks forward to playing the game at home in Qualcomm Stadium following two weeks on the road. He thinks the advantage of having a loud and boisterous Bolt fan base will go a long way toward improving the Chargers record to 3-0 in the division and give them a two-game lead in the AFC West.
“(Denver) is a really good football team that we get a chance to play at home,” he said. “It’s going to be a really big game. It’s going to be exciting to have it here. You talk about New Orleans being 8-0 at home last year playing at the level that they do in the dome, home-field advantage is big. Our home-field advantage has always been good for us. And at home on a Monday night I expect our fans to have a big part in it. It’s part of the reason that we’ve had a lot of success against [Peyton] Manning. They’re an off-the-line or a no-huddle team and the crowd can affect that greatly.”
Hopefully the crowd impacts the game the way Turner envisions. But win or lose, the Chargers will shift their focus and move on to the next one in their series of “16 one-game seasons.”