Despite Monday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers’ leaders view the rest of their season the same way:
They’re going to keep fighting.
Quarterback Philip Rivers said, “You just keep fighting,” three different times in one response during his postgame press conference Monday, adding that the “only way (he) knows” how to move forward is “to fight.”
Defensive end Melvin Ingram said that the Bolts “just gotta come back and fight” and “all we can do is come, line up (and) fight every week.”
Head coach Anthony Lynn also referenced the team’s continued fight twice in his postgame remarks.
“This is what we do,” Lynn said. “We fight. No one is going to take their football and go home. We’re going to take some time off next week on our bye, get some guys healthy, come back and we’re going to fight. That’s what I expect every man and every coach in that locker room to do.”
The bye week is a time to regroup and reflect for the Chargers players and coaching staff.
“We know what we’re playing for as a team (and) what our goals are,” Rivers said. “This game is way more than between the lines. The things you learn, the toughness and all the things that you have to work on, help you be a better person, man, husband (and) father.”
Ingram, too, envisions the bye week as a perfect opportunity to rest and game plan for the remainder of the season.
“We just gotta rest (and) get back to the drawing board,” Ingram said.
Lynn and his key contributors each pointed out that the team still has five games left, plenty of time to make a run, especially with the perpetual uncertainty of the AFC playoff picture.
“I’m gonna come in, and I know there’s gonna be a lot of guys with me,” defensive end Joey Bosa said. “We’re gonna work hard...because every game matters...These guys need to have a high standard for themselves, and I think they will. I hope we all come in ready to work.”
“We can salvage a winning record here and maybe get some help, who knows,” Lynn said.
Rivers said the team has “been in this spot before,” with the odds seemingly stacked against it and has come out on top.
Helping the Chargers’ cause has been the strong play of their defense, which picked off reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and limited him to 182 yards passing and the third-lowest passer rating of his career.
“The plan was really good,” Lynn said. “I felt like we were going to limit their explosive plays, and we did...You’re never going to shut that offense down...We put a lot of pressure on the defensive guys...and they passed the bill for the most part...If you (were to) tell me that we were gonna go into this game against that high-powered offense and hold them like we held them down, I’ll take my chances.”
The head coach added that he “loved the way (the defense) fought at the end,” and that it “kept giving (the Chargers offense) chances” to get back in the game.
Making this defense even better is the potential return of a 2018 Pro Bowler to the secondary in safety Adrian Phillips.
Phillips, who has been out since injuring his forearm in Week 2’s game against the Detroit Lions, was designated for return from IR last Tuesday. The Chargers have 21 days to activate him to the 53-man roster, and he may be recovering well enough to return after the bye, according to Lynn.
“We’re being careful with Adrian,” Lynn said. “We’re trying to make sure that he’s completely healthy before we put him back on the field, but he practiced last week...We’ve been erring on the side of caution, but he may have a chance to play (against the Broncos). We’ll see.”
Lynn also praised how the Chargers have been moving the ball, which they did to the tune of 438 total yards against the Chiefs, just four shy of their season high that came against the Packers in a Week 9 win.
The Bolts’ next fight comes on the road against the Denver Broncos on Sunday, December 1.