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From the Podium: Bolts Enter Mini-Bye with Optimism Moving Forward


'Everyone is going to ride with us and we're going to trust each other'

In a wild, rollercoaster of a football game, the Los Angeles Chargers fell just short on Thursday night with a 34-28 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Despite the loss, three games, including two against divisional opponents and a chance at an AFC playoff berth still lie ahead.

Quarterback Justin Herbert, who broke the record for most passing yards throughout the first two seasons of a player's NFL career (8,197), talked about what optimism the team can glean from this game.

Additionally, he also discussed what a game like this says about this Chargers team with three games left in the regular season.

"We're awfully close," Herbert said. "I think that's the toughest part. I was really proud with how the defense, the offense and the special teams played … Everyone is going to ride with us and we're going to trust each other and we love to be in that opportunity. The defense feels the same way, we believe in those guys 100 percent. We were close, we fell short today, but we couldn't have tried any harder. I was really proud of those guys."

With the short week behind them, the Bolts now have a 'mini-bye' before their Week 16 game in Houston against the Texans on Dec. 26.

Head coach Brandon Staley emphasized how important the next 10 days will be until the Chargers' next game in order to learn from this loss and ultimately become a better team.

After the game, Staley talked about looking at the bigger picture of the season given the fact that three games means three more opportunities for this squad.

"This is just one game in the NFL," Staley said. "That's what tonight was. Whether we had won it or lost it, it's just one game in the NFL … Our whole season is in front of us … We just went through something really challenging. Then, we have to come back Monday and get ready for the Houston Texans. That's what I told our players and our coaches. That's exactly what we're going to do, is we're going to come back a better football team than we left the stadium today."

Odds & Ends

Staley on Donald Parham Jr.: "We're trying to play for him the rest of the way. That's what our guys did tonight. They laid it on the line and played a whale of a game for him. I hope he's proud of that, and we're just praying for him right now. That's where our thoughts are right now, they're with him. That's one of those things that's the tough side of the game. He means so much to us and he's having such an incredible season ... We love him, we're thinking about him, and we can't wait to see him soon."

Uchenna Nwosu on his first INT: "It felt good to get my first career interception. To be able to get my first career interception, I'll cherish this moment forever. I noticed throughout the night [Patrick] Mahomes was trying to get the ball to running backs a lot ... I saw someone cross my face super fast and I noticed it was third-and-short, so I just tried to get out there, get my hand up, and came down with the ball."

Herbert on the run game being effective: "I thought it was huge for us. The offensive line did a great job blocking and to get the ball to Ek [Austin Ekeler,] JJ [Justin Jackson,] and JK [Joshua Kelley,] they ran the ball well. We moved the ball well, unfortunately we just came up short. Tough, but it was good to see the run game move that well."

Staley on the team's identity on fourth down: "That's the way we're going to play. When we have a quarterback like ours, and we have an offense like ours, that's the way we're going to play because that's how you need to play against Kansas City, for sure. That's how we're going to become the team that we're ultimately capable of being, by playing that way. I'm really proud of our guys. I thought we competed like champions today."

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