COSTA MESA, Calif. -- Find a way to win.
For the past two seasons, the Chargers have mostly found a way to lose. But in a come-from-behind win over the Giants on Sunday, the Bolts figured out a way to scratch their way to a win -- something they hope to build on against the Oakland Raiders this Sunday. The Chargers have lost four straight against their AFC West rivals.
“Thinking back to the teams we had that were really good, we were able to do that,” said Philip Rivers, who earned his 23rd career comeback victory. “I’m not saying we’re there yet. I told you six to eight weeks ago I think we have the potential to be one of those teams. But it was good to win, and just find a way to win.”
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said his team scaled back the playbook on both sides of the football for the Giants game, focusing on the plays they execute well.
“We’re just trying to figure out what our identity is, and get good at some things,” Lynn said. “You always want to go into a game with enough bullets but you don’t want to do too much, because then guys make mistakes and they don’t play as fast. We’re finding that balance right now, especially on offense. “
The Chargers finally found the right mix on offense. A proponent of running the football, Lynn’s Chargers finished with 124 yards on the ground, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Melvin Gordon finished with over 100 yards for the first time this season, rushing for 105 yards on 20 carries.
With Gordon and the run game going, Rivers created some explosive plays in the passing game. The Chargers finished with six plays of 16-plus yards or more through the air, as Rivers connected with his playmakers downfield for big gains.
While the Chargers showed balance on offense, they still have to curb unnecessary penalties. The Chargers have totaled 38 accepted penalties for 283 yards, No. 24 in the NFL.
In particular, Lynn wants to limit the 23 pre-snap penalties the Chargers have been called for through five games.
“There’s certain things we’re going to work on,” Lynn said. “We need to clean up the penalties. And when you look at the penalties, some of the aggressive penalties, those are going to happen. But it’s the pre-snap penalties that we need to clean up. So you just keep emphasizing it, you keep working it and you’ve got to hold the guys accountable.”
While paring down the playbook and limiting penalties remain a focus for the Chargers this week, the bottom line is the Bolts are working to start a two-game win streak.
“All you need is one win every week,” Chargers defensive lineman Damion Square said. “We have to go to Oakland next week. They’re a pretty good team and a divisional opponent. Everyone is healthy on the field, and we’re executing at a high level. We can beat anybody in the league.”