A savvy veteran, he knows the importance of establishing the mindset that no matter where the Chargers play and no matter the conditions, the team must be able to win away from Qualcomm Stadium.
Rivers also knows that his team can create the proper mindset by playing well Thursday night at Soldier Field.
“It will be a good test for our team to go on the road and play in a tough environment,” he said. “It will be our first test on the road with the noise and all those elements that you have to manage. We want to go get our first win. Obviously we’ll still be 0-0 at the end of it but you need to start getting the idea of winning on the road in your mind. We haven’t been great on the road in the past few years.”
The Bolts were 4-4 on the road in 2012. However, they began the season winning the first two matches away from Qualcomm Stadium before dropping four in a row. Those losses over the middle of the year played a part in the season going downhill after a 3-1 start. Going back further, San Diego was 3-5 in both 2011 and 2010.
Clearly the team needs to improve upon their road game performance from past seasons. And while Rivers admits the team shouldn’t pay too much heed to whether they win or lose on Thursday, he admits an important tone can be set.
“We’re not going to come home and think we’re going to be a struggling road team if we lose the game,” he said. “But it’s something we’ve got to get in our mindset from the get-go. There are 90 guys in there right now. There will only be 53 in there but the 53 are probably in the room, most of them. We have to develop that mindset. We can’t just turn it on when we go to Philadelphia in Week 2.”
The Chargers face a tough road schedule in 2013 as the Bolts will travel the second-most regular-season air miles of any team in the NFL in 2013 (26,932). On deck are four trips in the Eastern time zone (Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Washington and Miami), two in the Central time zone (Tennessee and Kansas City), one in the Mountain time zone (Denver) and one in the Pacific time zone (Oakland).