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10 Insights: Chargers Seeking Best Start Since '06

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass with 29 seconds left in the football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006, in Seattle. The Chargers won, 20-17. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts after throwing a 37-yard touchdown pass with 29 seconds left in the football game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Dec. 24, 2006, in Seattle. The Chargers won, 20-17. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)

1) Both the Chargers and Seahawks are 4-1 in their last five games (Los Angeles is riding a four-game winning streak). The success starts at the quarterback position:

  • Philip Rivers: 2,008 passing yards, 17 TDs and 3 INTs (117.8 QB rating)
  • Russell Wilson: 1,556 passing yards, 16 TDs and 4 INTs (112.8 QB rating)

2) Another reason for success: Both teams are taking care of the football. Los Angeles and Seattle each have six giveaways on the season, which is tied for the second-fewest in the NFL entering Week 9.

3) Rivers and Wilson have only squared off once in their career. A few interesting notes from that 30-21 Chargers win in 2014:

  • The Chargers dominated time of possession 42:15 to 17:45.
  • Antonio Gates scored all three of the Chargers' touchdowns on 96 yards receiving.
  • Three current starters on Los Angeles' defense appeared in the game: defensive end Melvin Ingram, defensive tackle Corey Liuget and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, who played for the Seahawks at that time.

4) Rivers threw for 455 yards -- the second-most passing yards in his career -- in his last visit to Seattle on Sept. 26, 2010. The Chargers fell to the Seahawks 27-20.

5) The Chargers are dominating teams in the second quarter this season. They've outscored their opponents 66-31. Last Sunday, Seattle outscored the Detroit Lions 21-0 in the second quarter.

6) A win Sunday against the Seahawks would give the Chargers their first 6-2 start since 2006 -- the same season they finished 14-2.

7) Sunday marks a homecoming for several Los Angeles players and coaches: Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley held the same position with the Seahawks from 2009-12; offensive tackle Russell Okung spent his first six seasons in Seattle and won a Super Bowl with the organization in 2013; Mebane, another member of the '13 Super Bowl team, spent his first nine seasons with the Seahawks; and Defensive Backs Coach Ron Milus is a native of Tacoma, Wash.

8) The Chargers are one of four NFL teams to have scored at least 20 points in every game this season (Chiefs, Rams and Saints).

9) Entering Week 9, Rivers has been sacked just nine times -- tied with Drew Brees for fewest among quarterbacks with at least seven starts.

10) Despite missing Week 7 against the Titans coupled with the bye week, Melvin Gordon still ranks seventh among running backs in yards from scrimmage (745) and is tied for third in total touchdowns with nine.

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