Chargers prepare for Chiefs

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For the 3-9 San Diego Chargers, the rest of the season is about pride. They want to win for each other as teammates and for their fans that have witnessed a dismal season. With only four games left in the regular season, the Chargers are out of contention for the playoffs. As Philip Rivers said, going into their game against the Kansas City Chiefs, “We have a chance this week to beat a team that’s won six in a row, the top wild card team … obviously we want to win for ourselves, our organization, our team, but it’s an opportunity to beat a team in the division and make their road getting into January a little tougher.”

Philip Rivers
Philip Rivers

It hasn’t all been bad. Quarterback Philip Rivers is having a great year; he could finish with another season throwing for at least 4,000 yards. He needs just 287 yard to achieve that for the seventh time in his career. The passing game has been excellent this year, Six players have caught passes for more than 300 yards so far and at least three touchdown catches: Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, Antonio Gates, Ladarius Greene, Stevie Johnson and Malcolm Floyd. With at least four of those players on the field in Sunday’s game in Kansas City, the Chiefs’ defense will have their hands full.

But the team has had issues with injuries that have slowed the team down this season. When asked about his offensive line, Rivers said, “There’s no lack of want-to, or desire, or fight from that group. It’s been a group that has been beat up and shuffled around all year long and really has done a heck of a job. You look at how many times we’ve thrown it and how few sacks we’ve had — and really how few hits. There’s been some games I don’t know if I’ve hit the ground. Last week wasn’t one of them — that’s part of my job too.” He added, “There’s no lack of confidence … in those guys whatsoever.”

Due to injuries with their receivers they just rehired wide receiver Vincent Brown, who was drafted by the Chargers in 2011 and spent three seasons with the Bolts. He will wear #86 again. Rivers told reporters, “However much he’s in there on Sunday, I’m gonna feel fine about cutting it loose on time and him being able to make the plays.”

running backs Melvin Gordon and Dreamius Smith
running backs Melvin Gordon and Dreamius Smith

Head Coach Mike McCoy said, “Great to have him back with us. After watching him work out yesterday; having been here before, and knowing what he can do to help us win this weekend is the big reason we brought him back in.”

McCoy is relying on Brown’s previous work with Philip Rivers to help with the team. “His relationship with Philip and how they work together on the football field, it showed out there today so it’s good to have him back.”

The wide receiver was relieved to be playing football this season, even if it is only four games. “Feels like I’ve just woken up from a long nightmare. So I was just happy to be back. I did the workout … and everything went well.”

He told reporters, “I had a few work outs with a couple other teams and it didn’t work out so well. So for them to call me, this was definitely a good opportunity, even though it’s four games left in the season. Just take it as that and I came down, just worked out and here I am.”

Jahleel Addae
Jahleel Addae

Brown is a native of Upland, California and attended San Diego State University, so San Diego is like a second home for him. With Malcolm Floyd and Stevie Johnson nursing injuries, plus Keenan Allen being out for the season, the Chargers will need him against the number two team in the division.

The game will be Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. “It’s just the old school NFL,” Rivers said about Kansas City. “There’s just a few places when you think of just old school NFL football, that would be close to the top of the list. That atmosphere, the fans; you feel like they’re just real football people.”

L.A. Post-Examiner Staff contributed to this article.

All photos by Claudia Gestro. Top photo: Vincent Brown.