It was time to take a chance — at least,
The offense faced fourth down and wanted to stay on the field. And Rivers, the sometimes calm, often fiery veteran, didn't like what he was hearing.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, who decided to punt, was the target of Rivers' ire. Rivers ripped his helmet off and screamed into it.
"We're 0-3. Shoot. Heck with it," Rivers said he yelled into the helmet.
That it was early in the second half, that the Chargers were at the Eagles' 45-yard line, that Rivers needed seven yards to keep the drive alive — none of that mattered.
"We were going to punt the football there," Lynn said definitively.
Losing, it turns out, can make people desperate and irrational.
After the game, Rivers smiled thinking about the outburst, ultimately glad that Lynn's decision prevailed.
"I think 100% it was probably the correct thing to do — to punt it," Rivers said. "It just had a feel of '0-3, at midfield — heck with it.' You know? That's why you have all of us and the head coach and not just go off your emotions right there. Without a doubt, it was the correct move."
After the team's first 0-4 start since 2003, the frustration spilled into the locker room, where many players examined the reasons for their shortcomings.
Running back Melvin Gordon expressed frustration with his lack of production, a decrease in opportunities and the team's losing all in a matter of sentences.
"It all falls into the same thing. Not getting the touches and not getting the win … the win is the biggest thing," Gordon said. "It's tough when you feel like you can't even help. You're kind of sitting back and it sucks, because I just feel like I'm helpless out there. I hate feeling like that, like I can't help my teammates out there. It hurts."
After rushing for 997 yards last season, Gordon has seen his production dip. With the exception of a strong first half against Kansas City in Week 3, he's been a non-factor on the ground. Sunday, he carried 10 times for 22 yards and only four times for two yards in the second half.
Gordon, limited against the
Touch and go
An afternoon most Chargers would like to forget was one that third-string running back Austin Ekeler, an undrafted free agent from Division II Western State in Colorado, will always remember.
Ekeler took a handoff from Rivers, bolted through a gaping hole up the middle, got a good block from tight end
On his first
"I kind of lost it at first — I was screaming and flexing as hard as I could, I was so excited," Ekeler said. "It's a moment I'll never forget, my first NFL touchdown. I'm glad it happened. I'm just bummed we came up short."
Ekeler's only carry on Sunday was the Chargers' longest run of the season. He also caught two passes for 23 yards in a performance that could gain him more playing time in coming weeks.
"I think they know what I can do," Ekeler said. "We have a good group of running backs. We all have our different specialties, so when our number is called, we have to make the play."
The Chargers’ offensive-line depth got tested again, as right tackle