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Chargers

Philip Rivers: Chargers play better when we ‘don’t have a chance’

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon leaps over Packers defensive back Chandon Sullivan.
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon, top, leaps over Green Bay Packers defensive back Chandon Sullivan (39) during a carry in the third quarter of the Chargers’ 26-11 win.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

Perhaps you were thinking the same thing Philip Rivers was thinking Sunday afternoon as the Chargers continually had to settle for three points.

He couldn’t have been the only person inside Dignity Health Sports Park feeling a sinking sensation in his belly.

“I was afraid the field goals earlier would come back to hurt us,” Rivers said. “I looked up and it was 9-0, after we really felt like we dominated the first half. ... We did a better job of getting in the end zone in the second half. It turned out to be enough and our defense was awesome.”

The Chargers were zero for three in red-zone trips in the first half. Each ended with a Michael Badgley field goal.

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Defensively, the Chargers limited Green Bay to three first downs and 50 total yards over the first two quarters.

Joey Bosa ended the Packers’ first possession by sacking Aaron Rodgers on third down and Melvin Ingram ended the Packers’ second possession the same way.

Badgley made another field goal to put the Chargers up 12-0 early in the third quarter.

The offense then advanced into the red zone on its next two possession, both of which ended with one-yard touchdown runs by Melvin Gordon.

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The second, however, came on fourth down and only after an offside penalty on Green Bay made Chargers coach Anthony Lynn rethink his initial decision to kick another field goal.

The victory, even if it wasn’t the most beautiful for the offense, certainly was much needed. At 4-5, the Chargers are still clinging to the edge of relevance in the AFC. They now have a quick turnaround, traveling this week to play at Oakland on Thursday night. The Raiders are 4-4 and coming off a 31-24 victory over a Detroit team that beat the Chargers in September.

“For whatever reason, we do better when the Chargers don’t have a chance,” Rivers said. “I don’t know why. I wish we did better when everybody thought we were good, like they thought when we were going into the season. I don’t know if anyone gave us a chance today and the guys…did a heck of a job.”


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