SAN DIEGO – “The only thing that was taken from us today was we can’t go undefeated. It’s the only goal we can’t achieve,” said quarterback Philip Rivers after the 27-3 loss to the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at Qualcomm.
Chargers fans may not have seen it that way, but instead were seeing red as they were fleeing the stadium, not only from the lack of points on their side, but from those Falcons fans clad in red jerseys that would stay to cheer on their team.
Entering week three, the Chargers have amassed a record of two wins and one loss.
“We have an opportunity to be 3-1, and I know none of you (media) picked us to win them all so I don’t know why you all seem so surprised we stubbed our toe,” Rivers said. “It’s frustrating to score three points; it’s frustrating to lose a game, but just about every team at some point loses one,” he added.
Falling behind early from two turnovers in the first half, including a Ryan Mathews fumble on the Atlanta four-yard line, Rivers said they resorted to a “pass-heavy” game to try and play catch up.
Rivers would finish the game with two interceptions.
The only three points came on a field goal by Nate Kaeding to start the second half.
When asked whether the offensive line wasn’t holding up enough for him to get a pass off, Rivers played defense, saying those guys, “fought their rear end off like they always have. It’s not going to be a perfect pocket every single pass when you throw it 40 times or close to it, but the line gave us enough time and chance to complete passes,” he said.
Sunday’s loss, or the way it was lost, with the defense struggling to stop third-down drives and a porous offensive line was drawing comparisons to last year’s team when they had started their six game slide. Head coach Norv Turner was quick to say that this is not last year’s team.
“We’ve played three games, and we started this thing in May when we all got together. We got our free agents, we got our players who had been on our team, we got our draft class and we talked about it being 16 one-game seasons, and as good as we felt…when we beat Tennessee, that win counts as one win; this loss counts as one loss,” he said.
“We’ve got a group of guys who are unbelievable committed.”
The Falcons have been dominant against AFC West opponents so far this season, having dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs to open the season, besting the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos last week and then to have traveled to San Diego on shortened week to beat the Chargers.
“They’re an outstanding football team,” Turner said of the Falcons. “Obviously, we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing,” Turner said. “And to me, it shows me how much work we have to do,” he added.
The Chargers will head to Kansas City for a divisional matchup against the Chiefs next Sunday.