Post by Jay Paris
Sunday came and went but the Chargers stayed the same: resilient, consistent, focused and dare we say, morphing into tough guys? The Chargers steam rolled the New York Jets, 31-0, on a sunny Sunday in Mission Valley. Truth told, the game wasn’t that close in the NFL’s first shutout of the season and the first by the Chargers since 2012.
But the Chargers have had engagements like this before, against rivals with no business sharing the field with San Diego. Often the Chargers would play down to their opponent, instead of a lay up when one is offered.
We know and Chargers coach Mike McCoy, the living cliche machine, tells us often. On any given Sunday and you know the rest. Not this Sunday, where the Jets were a disaster on both sides of the ball. Not this Sunday, when the Jets proved if you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one. Not this Sunday, when the Jets showed they were paper tigers in boasting of the NFL’s top run defense.
The Chargers haven’t run the ball in nine-on-seven drills in practice. Against the coach Rex Ryan’s renegades they went for a season-high 162 yards.
To run the ball in the NFL you have to be what?
According to Philip Rivers, that’s a spiffy way to describe the Chargers.
The Chargers have won four straight and it’s because they use brains and brawn.
“I just think our toughness is what we’ve shown,” Rivers said, after heaving three more touchdown passes. We’ll pass along the perception of the Chargers: lounging at the beach, chillin’ in the breeze and showing all the grit of a gnat.
No more, Rivers explained, but he’s heard it, too.
“Whether it’s Southern California, the vibe that you get our here of just a finesse group of guys who just like to throw it around and play in 75-degree weather — I think we’ve shown our toughness,” Rivers said.
I think we agree.
The Chargers never let the Jets get a sniff of being in this one.
With a New York offense that was more chuck-and-duck than ground-and-pound, the Chargers befuddled quarterbacks Geno Smith and Michael Vick.
With a New York defense weak on the back end, the Chargers let Rivers do his thing and that’s usually a good thing. He collected a 120 passing rating for a career-best, fourth-straight game and that’s no fluke.
All with Ryan roaming the premises and it’s always great to see him go, um, toes up.
“I thought I had the team prepared,” Ryan said. “But clearly that wasn’t the case.”
Case by case, the Chargers are building a portfolio of winning football, smart football and football that comes from the knuckles.
“I was surprised at how our entire football team struggled today,” Ryan said, and some of that was the Chargers’ doing.
Yep, the Jets are bad.
Yep, the Chargers are good, very good.
“We talk about it all the time, it’s not just being tough but who’s going to be the toughest the longest,” Rivers said. “Tough through four quarters, through 16 games, through a tough stretch.’’
Some rough patches of road await. But when it arrives, Rivers is confident his bunch will muscle-up.
“We just played tough and have been physical on both sides,” Rivers said. “And that’s awesome to see.”