Here's what Brandon Staley, Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Derwin James had to say following Sunday's game against Denver.
Consistency is key
The Chargers were unable to walk out of Denver with a win on Sunday with the Broncos beating the Bolts 28-13, dropping their record to 6-5 on the year, putting them in a three-way tie for second in the AFC West.
After the game, Chargers running back Austin Ekeler, who totaled 99 yards on the day with one receiving touchdown, talked about how the Bolts need to play more steady football week to week.
"If you're not consistent, I talk about it all day, every interview, if you're not consistent with your play, you're going to get beat," Ekeler said. "I feel like that's pretty much what happened with today. They outplayed us today. They played more consistent and stopped us and made more plays on offense than we did."
Head coach Brandon Staley talked about the pressure that the Broncos pass rush applied on quarterback Justin Herbert throughout the day and how penalties disrupted the flow of the offense and contributed to a lack of consistency within that unit.
"I really felt like he created and made a lot of plays for us," Staley said about Herbert. "When we had a chance in that fourth quarter to really make a push, we just weren't able to do it as a football team. I thought that we hung tough in the middle part of the game and then we just didn't finish the game playing our best."
Despite the frustrations of a loss, safety Derwin James noted how a lot can still happen, especially in a tight division and conference as a whole.
"The AFC is still wide open," James said. "We are 6-5 right now and everybody pretty much in the AFC still has the same record as us. So, it's still open, everything we want is still there."
Mindset moving forward
Since coming back from the bye week, the Chargers have traded losses and wins each of the last five games.
Herbert gave an explanation as to why he thinks it's been more challenging to stack wins like they were able to earlier in the season.
"I think it's the NFL and I think we are playing against a really good defense," Herbert said. "The Denver Broncos, they are really well-coached, and they've got some really good guys on that side of the ball. It wasn't good enough by us today and we need to readdress. After we watch the film tomorrow you need to be better and you need to learn from it."
Ekeler talked about the importance of getting over the hump heading into next week against the Cincinnati Bengals and why the team needs to have the same mentality no matter the outcome of the previous game.
"However we can capture this mentality after a loss and how we apply it to practice that week, I hope we can do that going forward," Ekeler said. "I'm not saying we are relaxed or anything, but it feels different going in after a loss and I don't like that. You'd like to have the same mindset going in, I try to as an individual be like, 'Ok, regardless, if we won or lost or you had a good or bad game it's the same type of approach.'"
Odds and Ends
Brandon Staley on performance of the offensive line "Continuity up front that's a real thing. Just felt like there was a lot of pressure with them just rushing four guys…I thought Justin navigated it well, felt like he made a lot of big plays. We just have to play more complete offense around him today; play cleaner football and we will perform the way we are capable of."
Derwin James on recovering fumbles "We just try to recover every ball that hits the ground whether it's incomplete because you never know. The one we thought was a fumble today was an incomplete, so we just try to recover all the ones we want … We are going to keep chasing it and we just got to recover it."
Brandon Staley on penalties "We had far too many penalties today. I think penalties really had a lot to do with our offensive flow and rhythm. That kind of, 'Hey, we're moving it then we got to come back, we're moving it, now we got to go back.' So, the penalties were a big factor today."
Justin Herbert on Broncos defense "They do a great job at disguising everything. They are really well coached and when you put together a really good coach like that with some exceptional players, you get a really good defense. We need to be better and we can't expect to win when you turn the ball over like that … A lot of good film to watch and you have to learn from it."
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