Chargers on a roll entering bye week
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers get to head into their bye week riding a minor two-game hot streak.
Since losing to the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 6, the Chargers have played their best football as Philip Rivers continues to shine -- he's the NFL's No. 2 ranked quarterback -- and the defense remains stingy -- 11 consecutive quarters without allowing a touchdown.
"I think the character of our football team has come out the last couple of weeks," Chargers coach Mike McCoy said Monday, a day after the Chargers won their second straight game by beating the Jaguars 24-6. "We have great leaders and good veteran players that set the tempo and the guys are buying in. It's a matter of how quickly you can clean up your mistakes and not make the same mistakes. That is a sign of a good football team and that is what we are doing right now."
The Chargers' offense has come alive under McCoy, the former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator.
With Rivers completing 74 percent of his passes, the unit is ranked in the top five in yards per play, passing net yards per play, first downs per game and third-down efficiency.
"When you got a guy like Philip Rivers, this is what happens," McCoy said. "This is the guy we thought he was going to be. That is the confidence we have in him and the system we put in place. It's a great system and the players believe in it. And when you have a quarterback like Philip, this is what you can do with it."
McCoy's offensive emphasis was among the reasons he was hired to replace Norv Turner. Rivers' production had diminished the past two years, as he threw 35 interceptions with the Chargers slipping to a 15-17 record.
But McCoy has Rivers playing with confidence in a system that relies on the veteran getting to the line quickly and making the right decisions, based on what defenses are showing.
The offense is producing at such a high level that it compensates for a defense that doesn't have the same firepower.
Once again the Chargers (4-3) played keep-away with an opponent, hogging the ball for 37:30 in Jacksonville. Each of the Chargers' first five possessions featured at least 10 plays as the blend of running and passing kept the Jaguars confused.
"It gives us flexibility," McCoy said after the team rushed 40 times and passed 26 times. "The run-pass ratio we have had the last two weeks is the way to play the game. You can run it when you want to and pass it when you need to."
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Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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