SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are rolling. They’ve lost three centers and three running backs in five weeks and keep plugging the holes.
Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and rookie running back Branden Oliver’s big day included his first two NFL touchdowns as the Chargers earned the league’s first shutout this season in beating the hapless New York Jets 31-0 Oct. 5th for their fourth straight win.
The Chargers (4-1) heaped more pain on the Jets (1-4), who lost their fourth straight game and turned to Michael Vick. Vick replaced Geno Smith on New York’s first possession of the second half, but wasn’t any more effective.
And Rivers wants to be clear — while the Chargers have been called San Diego soft in past seasons, there’s none of that with this group.
Rivers said the Bolts’ biggest trait after five games is toughness.
“For whatever reason, whether it’s Southern California, or the vibe that you get out here of just a finesse group of guys that like to throw it around in 75-degree weather, I think we’ve shown our toughness,” Rivers said.
“We talk about it all the time. Not just being tough, but who’s going to be the toughest the longest, through four quarters, through 16 games, through a tough stretch, they aren’t all going to be like this. We might hit a bump in the road going forward, but I think our toughness has been shown the last five weeks. We’ve dealt with injuries and just played tough on both sides and that’s just awesome to see.”
Other than being sacked three times, Rivers had his way with the Jets. He was 20-of-28 for 288 yards and three touchdowns, with one interception.
(BERNIE WILSON, AP Sports Writer)