4-18-14: Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers returned to the playoffs in 2013 and will aim to make it back to back trips as they start the 2014 season. That journey begins with a nice showdown against the Dallas Cowboys at home in week one of the preseason, although starters from both sides will likely see limited action. Rivers and the rest of the gang should play much more in week two, when San Diego takes on the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle. It will be more than a little interesting to see how Rivers responds to Seattle’s gritty defense, while San Diego’s defense will also have their hands full trying to contain Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. The San Diego Chargers preseason schedule reaches it’s highest point of intensity in week three with a road battle with the equally challenging San Francisco 49ers. The Chargers should spend their most time on the field of the preseason in this contest, where they will be challenged on both sides of the ball. San Diego’s preseason run wraps up back at home in week four, as the Arizona Cardinals come to town on August 28th.
4-7-14: Running back Donald Brown headlined a fairly quiet run in free agency for the San Diego Chargers, while the team also grabbed a new backup quarterback in Kellen Clemens and a nice depth piece for the secondary in Brandon Ghee. Brown should serve as solid insurance for the often injured Ryan Mathews, while the move is also potentially a look ahead beyond 2014 for when Mathews becomes a free agent. Most of the Chargers’ grunt work in free agency was about retaining their top talent, as they held onto stud inside linebacker Donald Butler, cornerback Richard Marshall and offensive guard Chad Rinehart.
3-21-14: The San Diego Chargers were a nice surprise in 2013, making their way to a wild card playoff game and even earning a win. Heading into the offseason, they aimed to build off of that momentum into an even more successful 2014 season. Bringing in Donald Brown could help bolster a rushing attack that was actually already solid a year ago, while the Chargers helped themselves for the most part by keeping key pieces they knew they couldn’t do without. That meant holding onto cornerback Rishard Marshall, guard Chad Rhinehart and especially their young thumper over the middle, inside linebacker Donald Butler. Butler was arguably bigger than any other outside of the network signing San Diego could have made, as they retain their key defender in the middle of their improving 3-4 scheme. San Diego still needs help in the secondary and could use an extra pass-rushing specialist, but figures to attack these needs in May during the draft.
1-14-14: The San Diego Chargers pushed through the first round of the playoffs with solid defense and a tough rushing attack. Neither really showed up with their A game in the divisional round. Instead, it was a case of “too little, too late” for Philip Rivers and co., as San Diego fell behind the division rival Denver Broncos 17-0 and couldn’t recover in a 24-17 road loss.
San Diego got a lot closer than the end result suggests, as they scored all 17 of their points in the final quarter and were down seven with just under four minutes to go. The Chargers couldn’t get the ball back, however, and their up and down 9-7 season officially came to an end.
1-7-14: Philip Rivers completed just 12 passes and the Chargers won convincingly on the road, topping the Cincinnati Bengals, 27-10. Luckily he also only attempted 16 passes, as he completed 75% of his balls for 128 yards as San Diego relied on solid defense and a ball control game-plan on offense to make their way to the second round of the playoffs.
The Chargers were solid on offense, but the defense was responsible for much of the win, as they picked off Andy Dalton twice and recovered a crucial fumble late in the game. San Diego, just 9-7, moves on to the divisional round of the playoffs to take on AFC West rivals, the Denver Broncos.
12-31-13: The Chargers needed everything to go their way to make the playoffs. Little did anyone know that the toughest thing of all would be earning a win against the backups of the Kansas City Chiefs. Philip Rivers topped 300 yards and tossed three touchdowns, however, and the Chargers overcame a late 10-point deficit to top the visiting Chiefs in overtime, 27-24.
12-24-13: Ryan Mathews barreled through the Oakland Raiders for 99 rushing yards and a touchdown and San Diego overcame a slow start to upend Oakland at home, 26-13. The win got the Chargers above .500 and kept their faint playoff hopes alive going into the week 17 season finale.
12-17-13: Philip Rivers tossed two touchdowns as the San Diego Chargers played ball control offense and shocked the Broncos in Denver with a 27-20 win. Ryan Mathews cracked 1,000 yards rushing on the year by taking 29 rushes for a season high 127 rushing yards and a score. It ended up being too little, too late for Peyton Manning and Denver, as the Broncos were handed their third loss of the year.
12-10-13: Philip Rivers came out red-hot in week 14, tossing three touchdowns and playing efficient football on the way to a massive 24-0 lead early. Ryan Mathews helped extend the lead by punching in a late touchdown and the San Diego defense forced three turnovers to pull out a nice home win over the New York Giants, 37-14.
12-3-13: San Diego needed a big win at home over the Cincinnati Bengals if they had any real hope of obtaining a wild card spot in the AFC playoffs. They couldn’t get it. Philip Rivers threw for over 250 yards, but he could only generate two scoring drives in a 17-10 loss at home. Keenan Allen was the lone bright spot, as he hauled in eight receptions for over 100 receiving yards.
11-26-13: Don’t try to figure out the San Diego Chargers. Despite being one of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL, San Diego put together an amazing performance on offense against arguably the league’s top defense, and came out on top of a shootout with the Chiefs, 41-38. Philip Rivers took advantage of some defensive injuries in KC’s defense, throwing for nearly 400 yards and three touchdowns in the thrilling road victory.
11-19-13: Ryan Mathews carved up the Miami Dolphins for his third 100+ yard rushing day of the 2013 season, but Philip Rivers’ final pass of the day was batted down in a tough 20-16 road loss to the Miami Dolphins. San Diego hung tough in a brutal battle between two desperate 4-5 squads looking to get to .500, and simply came up short in the end in week 11.
11-12-13: What started out as a tight 7-6 game quickly spun out of control, as the Denver Broncos went up 14-6 and then scored again to go up 21-6 with 13 seconds left in the first half in week 10. Denver would score yet again after receiving the ball after the break and with a 28-6 lead, it was just too big of a hole for the Chargers to climb out of. They gave it a valiant effort and made it 28-20 early in the fourth quarter, but the Broncos controlled the clock the rest of the way and dropped the Chargers to 4-5 on the season.
11-5-13: Instead of working their way to a third straight win and getting away from mediocrity, Philip Rivers and the Chargers couldn’t pull out a win in regulation and fell to the Redskins in overtime on the road, 30-24. San Diego struggled to get their running game going and had too many costly mistakes in this one, but the rub came when they were stuffed on three straight tries to win the game before settling for a field goal to enter the extra period.
10-22-13: Many felt the San Diego Chargers would be a candidate for a letdown game after a huge win over the Indianapolis Colts in week six. Instead, they powered over the Jacksonville Jaguars with a consistent ground attack in a convincing 24-6 road victory. Philip Rivers played mistake-free football and let Ryan Mathews and Danny Woodhead (139 total rushing yards and two touchdowns) help control the clock in the win that sent the Bolts to a 4-3 start.
10-15-13: The San Diego Chargers are a soft team, no more. Never thought to be a dominant running team or smothering defense, San Diego appeared to be both in week six against the Indianapolis Colts. Instead of trying to air it out as they often do, the Chargers shocked everyone by shoving the ball down Indy’s throats. That lead to a complete dominance of time of possession, as running back Ryan Mathews had his way with Indy’s run defense to the tune of 102 rushing yards. Philip Rivers wasn’t needed for a 400+ yard outburst, and instead simply made the right changes at the line and took care of the football in a convincing 19-9 home win for the Chargers.
Philip Rivers continued his hot start in week five, as he tossed two touchdowns and topped 400 yards passing for the second straight week. Unfortunately, he also tossed three interceptions and failed to get the Chargers on the scoreboard until the second half. While San Diego clearly struggled throughout, Rivers still almost came through in the clutch, as he helped the Chargers come back from a 24-3 hole to make it a seven point game before falling on the road, 27-17.
10-1-13: Philip Rivers continued his hot start to 2013 in his new offense, as his Chargers responded to an early deficit with 20 unanswered points to help get San Diego to 2-2 at home with a 30-21 win. San Diego was aided late in the game by a fumble from rookie wide receiver Terrance Williams, but they held the upper hand throughout the second half thanks to a fantastic connection between Rivers and specialty back Danny Woodhead, with the pair coming together for two scores. The nail in the coffin came with just under seven minutes remaining in the game, however, with Rivers finding tight end Antonio Gates for his third passing touchdown of the game, while also pushing him over 400 passing yards on the day.
9-19-13: The San Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles combined for one of the more exciting week two matchups, as the two went back and forth in a roller coaster battle. This one ultimately ended with a Nick Novak field goal with seven seconds left, sealing the deal for the visiting Chargers, 33-30. Philip Rivers was on top of his game for the second week in a row, shredding the Philly pass defense to the tune of 419 yards, while connecting with slot receiver Eddie Royal on three touchdowns. Next week the Chargers head to Tennessee to take on the Titans.
9-10-13: The San Diego Chargers nearly made the last game of week two a blowout, as they sat with a commanding 28-7 lead at one point in the third quarter. The Houston Texans had other plans, however, as they stuck with their original balanced game plan and scored 24 unanswered points to complete a remarkable comeback with kicker Randy Bullock’s late field goal deciding the game, 31-28. San Diego’s Philip Rivers played a flawless first half and his four touchdowns were a huge reason the Chargers almost ran away with this one, but a pick-six late in the game proved costly and the Chargers lost all momentum to the favored road team. Next up for San Diego is a trip to face Michael Vick, Chip Kelly, and the new-look Eagles in Philadelphia.
9-5-13: Here are the Chargers final roster cuts: CB Cornelius Brown, S Sean Cattouse, LB Phillip Dillard, CB Greg Gatson, LB Jerrell Harris, CB William Middleton, LB Daniel Molls, T Randy Richards, C Steve Schilling, T Max Starks, WR Luke Tasker, T Nick Becton, LB Frank Beltre, TE Ben Cotton, CB Marcus Cromartie, DE Logan Harrell, RB Michael Hill, CB Josh Johnson, LB Thomas Keiser, C David Molk, TE David Rolf, WR Robert Meachem.
8-20-13: Philip Rivers struggled as the Chargers lost their second preseason game 33-28 to the Bears. Rivers completed 5 of 9 passes for 50 yards and threw a pick. The two backups, were much more effective. Charlie Whitehurst completed 9 of 13 passes for 97 yards and two TDs, while rookie Brad Sorensen completed 8 of 14 for 126 and a TD. Ryan Mathews lead the team on the ground, running the ball 9 times for 45 yards, while TE Ladarius Green caught 5 passes for a team-leading 78 yards and a TD. The Chargers travel to Glendale to take on the Cardinals next weekend.
8-11-13: San Diego lost to the Seahawks 31-10 in their preseason opener. Philip Rivers looked good in limited action, completing 5 of 6 passes for 45. Rookie QB Brad Sorensen was 7 of 10 for 84 yards and a TD. RB Fozzy Whittaker carried the ball 14 times for 38 yards. TE Ladarius Green scored the only TD for San Diego.
7-10-13: The Chargers put an end to the Norv Turner era this off-season, deciding to bring in Mike McCoy to give the offense an overhaul. McCoy’s presence should help, as will third down back Danny Woodhead, the return of Vincent Brown, rookie receiver Keenan Allen and some upgrades to a porous offensive line. San Diego’s defense took a hit with the loss of pass-rusher Melvin Ingram, though, and may need a huge bounce back season from quarterback Philip Rivers to make any noise in the AFC West.
6-25-13: The Chargers may not have been living up to expectations the past few years, but they still roster a good amount of talent. With offensive guru Mike McCoy taking over as head coach, there is a good amount of optimism that San Diego can get back on track. McCoy has worked wonders with Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning the past two seasons in Denver, so there is a ton of hope that quarterback Philip Rivers could see one of his better seasons in 2013. With that said, it’s still going to be imperative that running back Ryan Mathews not break like fine china, and that San Diego’s defense comes to play all year long.
Chargers 2013 Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 11: D.J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Round 2, Pick 6 (from Arizona): Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
Round 3, Pick 14: Keenan Allen, WR, California
Round 5, Pick 12: Steve Williams, CB, California
Round 6, Pick 11: Tourek Williams, DE, Florida International
Round 7, Pick 15: Brad Sorensen, QB, Southern Utah
12-4-12: Being in second place is usually a strong position for most teams, but not when you are 4-8. Losers of four in a row and San Diego Chargers will head to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers this week. The remainder of their schedule includes trips to New York to face the Jets, and two home games against the Panthers and Raiders. Phillip Rivers has thrown 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions on the season. The chargers have the 6th best rushing defense in the NFL.