Philip Rivers: Chargers’ latest tough loss will reveal team’s true character

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers walks over to Titans players to congratulate them on their victory on Sunday.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers walks off the sideline during the final seconds of a 23-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The Chargers lost dramatically and wildly Sunday to Tennessee when they were the victims of three reversed calls in the final 44 seconds.

They had two plays initially ruled as touchdowns changed and then a non-fumble switched to a fumble, one that essentially ended the game.

The chaos had veteran quarterback Philip Rivers thinking back to the 2013 season when, in Week 9, the Chargers lost 30-24 in overtime at Washington.


On that day, an apparent touchdown by Danny Woodhead was reversed near the end of regulation, forcing the Chargers to kick a tying field goal and extend the game into the extra session.

“It’s tough,” Rivers said. “To not turn it over today, until the last play, and really play pretty well offensively.… We didn’t play perfect, by any means, but we played pretty good.

The Chargers aren’t making excuses for their failure to score the go-ahead touchdown from the goal line in the final seconds against the Titans.

Oct. 20, 2019

“We had a little stretch there in the third quarter that wasn’t great, but that’s a good defense. You know, it’s tough. Between the injuries and not finishing games, it’s been a tough start to the season.”

The Chargers on Sunday finished with 365 total yards, 326 of which came through the air, and 24 first downs, two more than the Titans. Rivers was sacked just once.

That loss to the Redskins six years ago dropped those Chargers to 4-4. They eventually fell to 4-6 before winning five of six to finish the season 9-7 and advance to the playoffs.


These Chargers have a lot of work to do if they hope to accomplish a similar turnaround.

“I feel like a broken record, I’ve said this so many times,” Rivers began. “But I think it happens when you’ve been somewhere 16 years, right? You’re in situations, different ones. You’ve been through different years. And I know I’ve said this before — we’ll find out about our guys now.

“We thought last week was a tough test, coming off a ‘Sunday Night Football’ loss where we didn’t play very good. Now, losing like this, you’ll really find out. It’s easy to be a good teammate and say all the right things when things go good. But when you lose one like this at 2-5 and things look rough, we’ll find out about us, you know?”