Rivers, Chargers determined to keep win streak going
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers are on a roll with a three-game winning streak.
Philip Rivers is determined to keep the momentum going, even with an overseas trip and a game in London looming.
“The guys have been great and we know we’re in kind of a groove right now,” the 36-year-old quarterback said. “This is a different week, but our mindset is whatever you normally do, just do it. We want to keep this going.”
The Chargers returned to the practice field Wednesday, brimming with confidence after their 38-14 victory over the Browns three days earlier. The decisive win raised their record to 4-2 and kept them one game behind AFC-leading Kansas City.
The team remains in Cleveland and is training at suburban Baldwin Wallace University, hoping to maintain some normalcy before its Sunday game against the Tennessee Titans at Wembley Stadium in England.
“We practiced today at the same time that we’ll play (6:30 a.m. Pacific time), so that should help our bodies get accustomed to the time change,” said Rivers, who has thrown 15 touchdowns and has the second-best passer rating in the NFL at 115.1.
“As a player, Wednesday always feels like the start of the workweek — and we were all ready for it today. The challenge will be Thursday night to Friday morning with us flying all night to get to London.”
Los Angeles linebacker Denzel Perryman joked that avoiding jetlag will be easy, saying, “If you get some sleep medicine, you’ll be all right.”
The fourth-year pro turned serious when asked if the Chargers’ focus was where it should be, namely stopping Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis.
“It’s a different environment and different weather here, but we got some good work done today,” Perryman said. “We know Tennessee has got a lot of nice weapons and an explosive offense with a nice duo back there. And Mariota, he can run and pass, so he’s a difficult matchup. But we’ll be ready for them, no doubt.”
The extended road trip has taken on special significance for Rivers, who has only played in London once in 15 pro seasons. He threw a costly late interception in the Chargers’ 37-32 loss to New Orleans on Oct. 26, 2008.
Rivers noted this will likely be his last game in England, given his age and the league’s rotation of all 32 franchises for international games.
“It’s been 10 years, but shoot, I remember everything about it,” he said. “Staying right next to the stadium before the game, and every time the ball went in the air, there were oohs and aahs.
“That was one of the first times the NFL had been to Wembley, so it’s a little more common now, but I’m sure we’ll see a lot of Chargers and Titans fans there supporting their favorite teams.”
Making this trip even more important, a win would make Los Angeles 5-2 on the season, which Rivers has only experienced twice before in 2006 and 2014. The latter team faltered down the stretch and missed the playoffs.
With Melvin Gordon now one of the top running backs in the league and standout defensive end Joey Bosa expected back in early November from a left foot injury, Rivers doesn’t want to let this opportunity slip away.
“We’ve got a chance to get to 5-2 and we’ve got to do whatever it takes to get there,” he said. “If you had told us back in August we’d be in this position, we’d have taken it. We feel pretty good about ourselves right now.”
NOTES: Chargers coach Anthony Lynn expects linebacker Jatavis Brown (groin) and kicker Caleb Sturgis (right quadriceps) to be game-time decisions. Michael Badgley made his NFL debut filling in for Sturgis against the Browns, making all five of his extra points and his lone field-goal attempt. ... C Mike Pouncey (knee), WR Travis Benjamin (foot), TE Virgil Green (ribs), NT Damion Square (shoulder) were limited in practice, while Bosa and LB Kyzir White (knee) remain out.