6-2: The Chargers’ best start since 2006.
Five consecutive victories: The team’s best win-streak since Weeks 2 through 6 of the 2014 season.
While the Chargers have been on a roll in 2018 thus far, the way they finished 2017 after overcoming an 0-4 start and winning nine of their last 12 games was just as impressive.
So, has keeping the momentum been a reason for the Bolts’ success this season?
According to Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn, the team’s culture is what has remained constant from last year to now.
“I think the culture has carried over,” Lynn said. “I don't think the wins and losses can carry over. We have a lot of the same guys in the locker room that we had last year. I think that they understand what we have to do to win football games. I think it's a tough group."
That culture has evolved into a “brotherhood” according to Desmond King.
“I feel like the environment inside our locker room is awesome,” the second-year cornerback said. “It’s like a family, a brotherhood and a community. Everybody is together, everybody does things together, and I think it’s a home. As long as we keep that going, this program is heading in the right direction.”
Philip Rivers agrees. The quarterback said the camaraderie and mentality the team had at the end of 2017 is one reason the Bolts have found success in 2018. While it wasn’t momentum necessarily, it was a group desire to get back on the field and compete as quickly as possible.
“I think we came into this offseason hungry and excited because of the way last year finished,” Rivers remarked. “(The season) couldn't get here soon enough. Then you add some pieces and you kind of got to regenerate it a little bit. But it's there, and I think we've done that so far.”
One of those new pieces added to the roster this year is Mike Pouncey. After arriving to the Bolts in March, the center quickly picked up on the vibe in the locker room and credits the 10-day trip to Cleveland and London as a galvanizing moment for the team.
“(The trip) worked well for our football team,” Pouncey mentioned. “A lot of times when we leave the building, guys go home to their families (because) we have stuff going on outside of football. But, when you’re on the road for 10 days, all you have is each other. We had to do a lot of team dinners and got to hang out a lot, do a lot of team bonding. I think it was good for our football team. We took full advantage of it and it’s worked well for us.”
Next up for the Chargers is a trip to the East Bay to take on the Oakland Raiders, which will mark 41 days since the team’s last home game. Ironically, that game was against the Raiders.
So, what’s the key for the Bolts this weekend? According to Rivers, it’s to sustain that camaraderie from off the field to between the white lines as there’s a lot of football left to be played in 2018.
“Now it's to maintain it and find ways to improve each and every week and never relax. We’ve had some (success) on some Sundays, but we're certainly by no means have done anything yet.”