It's no secret that Philip Rivers is off to one of his best starts yet.
With 2,459 yards, 21 TDs and only four interceptions through nine games, he's playing at a high-caliber level. At times, he's been even more fired up on the field than normal – something his teammates have taken note of as well.
But Denver Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph has noticed something else that's different about the quarterback.
He's doing less.
"I think Philip is playing team ball. I think it's hard for a guy like Philip, who's in my opinion a first ballot Hall of Famer, to do less to help his team win, so that speaks to the person," Joseph said. "He's a coach's son, so he understands that the team comes first and winning is the ultimate goal. I've watched him do a lot less at the line of scrimmage, but its worked for his football team. It obviously equals winning. When I watch Philip, I see a guy that's taking care of the football. … That's the reason they're playing so (well) as a team in my opinion. Because Philip's being so selfless and he's doing what's best for the team, and that's part of being a special player for your team."
That selflessness comes from the fact that Rivers will do whatever it takes to win, but also that the Bolts' running game has been explosive this season.
Melvin Gordon is one of only five running backs in the NFL with over 1,000 yards from scrimmage on the season, and that's with him playing one less game than the rest. His running ability, coupled with the team's blocking, have proven to be a challenge for defenses.
Browse through some of the best moments from practice as the Bolts begin prep for their home matchup versus Denver.
"They've had some gaping holes just by how they've schemed people, along with Melvin's running abilities," Joseph said. "Heck of a combination of their scheme, and obviously his running ability and their passing game."
"(Gordon)'s playing lights out, and the crazy thing is, he's kind of similar with Philip," outside linebacker Von Miller added. "He's always played great. Melvin Gordon and Philip Rivers, they've always played great, they've always won games (and) they just look dominant as hell this year."
Miller, who has played for Denver since 2011, has faced Rivers each one of those eight seasons, and while he says it's always a big challenge to go against the 15-year vet, it's always fun, too.
"Me and Philip, we've got a special relationship, developed over years at the Pro Bowl and playing against each other for eight years now," he said. "I've got his jersey hanging up in my basement right next to Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. I've got a whole lot of respect for Philip in his game, and I've got a whole lot of respect for him as a person. He's an incredible father. He's incredible on and off the football field, so I've got a lot of respect for Philip. … He's the leader. He's been a leader for a long time, been successful for a long time. (I) love playing against Philip Rivers. (I) love playing against the Chargers. This is the best Chargers team that I've played against - best offensive team. We're going to have our hands full."