SAN DIEGO – The Chargers rolled into their Murphy Canyon Road parking spaces Monday just like they have for six consecutive weeks.
They didn’t clean out their lockers, nor did they hoist a white flag on the balcony overlooking the practice fields.
Two wins and four losses is not how San Diego wanted to start the season, but they’ll leave the lamenting and doomsday theories to others and focus on preparations to play New England.
“The AFC West is still right there. We’re still in the thick of it,”
The Raiders (2-4), Broncos (2-4) and Chiefs (3-2) all lost during Week 6, making the AFC West a collective 1-5 the last two weeks. Oakland secured the lone win in its own stadium against San Diego.
That prevented the Chargers from losing ground, but Rivers would hardly call it a break. San Diego could’ve secured the division lead with wins the last two weeks, he noted, adding that the Bolts first must win games before worrying about where they stand relative to the others.
The focus Monday was making sure the team didn’t abandon the rigorous preparation that’s aided them to four consecutive division championships and ensuring their confidence doesn’t disappear.
“When you come off a game like we had yesterday, obviously it creates a lot of discussion, a lot of speculation, a lot of theories as to what’s wrong with the football team,” Head Coach Norv Turner said.
“What I care about is the guys that we have here, the guys we’re coaching, the coaches who are coaching them and how we’re going to get to where we want to be so we can go out and play at a consistently high level.”
Turner, who’s voiced a strong confidence in this year’s Chargers dating back to May and has not waivered, cited the rigorous challenge each NFL team presents and cautioned against the perception that any portion of the schedule is easy.
The expectations and goals have not changed, Rivers and Turner said. This team wants to make the playoffs.
“I know we can play at that level (but) I’ve been doing this long enough to know there are no guarantees,” Turner said. “I really like our staff. I like the way they prepare and coach.
“Hey, I’m accountable and you know how I feel about it. It’s all on me. I’m going to do everything I can to get it straightened out.”
“It’s not as bad as I feared it might be but I think it’s bad enough to keep him out,” Turner said.
The coach said
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A few circumstances have limited his carries since, most notably a nagging ankle injury, but Mathews has produced 5.9 yards per carry in the last three games on a combined 30 carries with runs of 20, 17 and 19 yards. He gained 76 total yards of offense against St. Louis.
Asked a question about Mathews’ number of carries in the game (12), Turner said he planned to get the running back the ball more often but the situation dictated otherwise.
“We did not convert third downs,” Turner said. “We had three-and-outs and we were not able to keep the ball. When you’re not able to do that, it’s hard to get consistency in the running game.”