There's More To The Chargers Than 2-2
By Andrew Burer
A quarter of the way in to the season, the Chargers are 2-2. Their record’s not necessarily a glimmering sign of hope but it’s not a reason for concern either.
But in this particular case, more can be said about the Chargers than their record indicates. In each of the first three games, the outcome was decided with less than 15 seconds remaining and the score was separated by three points. Against the Cowboys last Sunday, the Chargers scored 20 unanswered points en route to Philip Rivers’ 14th fourth-quarter-come-from-behind win of his career.
The Chargers are getting there. They’re playing competitive football and the character displayed through the first quarter of the season is reason to optimism in the future.
“It (the win against Dallas) goes to show that when you have good coaches and players buy-in to what you’re doing and what you’re coaching, good things will happen,” head coach Mike McCoy said after the game.
Whether it’s been injuries, turnovers, or a bad call by a referee, the Chargers have had trouble responding to adversity in previous seasons. This year, Mike McCoy and his staff have preached “It’s about the next play” and the team has bought in.
No other time this season was that more evident than against the Cowboys just before the end of the first half. With 1:32 remaining in the second quarter, Philip Rivers’ pass was deflected and intercepted by Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee who returned it 52-yards for a touchdown. San Diego started the next drive with 1:19 left in the first half and responded with an eight play, 66-yard drive that resulted in a 42-yard field goal by Nick Novak as time expired.
It marked the turning point in the game as the Chargers went into the half only down eight points and would receive to start the third quarter. On the ensuing drive, San Diego marched 80-yards down field and scored a touchdown, and went on to score 20 unanswered points.
“…That’s the thing that we keep on preaching is that it’s the next play,” McCoy said. “You have to play 60 minutes. I was told a long time ago that as long as there’s time left on the clock, you have a chance to win. It says a lot about the character of our team.”
More importantly, although the Chargers squandered leads against both the Texans and Titans, the Chargers responded to tough losses in each of the following weeks (against the Eagles and Cowboys) with impressive victories.
“They’ve (the players) showed a lot about the character of the team,” McCoy said. “They bounced back from two tough losses, coming back, whether it’s coming off a short week or playing a big game at home against a very good football team and having some production. We’re just looking to get better every week.”