Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers seek to rebound from two narrow losses
COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Los Angeles Chargers are looking ahead to Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs, and after two heartbreaking losses that seems like a good idea.
But before the Chargers move forward, head coach Anthony Lynn was trying to put Sunday’s defeat to bed. The Chargers lost to the Miami Dolphins 19-17 as rookie kicker Younghoe Koo missed from 44 yards out in the closing seconds.
The kicker is that defeat comes on the heels of the previous game when Koo had a late game-tying attempt blocked.
That’s two games that the Chargers had a sniff at winning. But in the end, they just held their noses as they started 0-2 in Los Angeles.
“It’s not strange to me,” Lynn said of the Chargers stumble from the gate. “We started last year 0-2 and then won our next four games.”
But that recipe didn’t work so swell for Lynn and the Buffalo Bills.
The Chargers are hoping another dose of home cooking can snap them from their funk. But the Chargers also know that playing at StubHub Center means a split crowd. The loudest cheer from Sunday’s game came when Koo was wide right, as Dolphins fans rocked the 27,000-seat venue.
“We’re fairly used to the opposing team traveling well, but I thought the energy in the stadium was good,” quarterback Philip Rivers said. “We’ve got to find a way to win the game. That’s what we’re most concerned about.”
There were plenty of red flags flapping in the fading light on Sunday. The offense had trouble running the ball. The special teams had a punt blocked and missed two field goals. The defense was steamrolled at times by Miami’s running game.
“Oh, it can be fixed, for sure it can be fixed,” guard Matt Slauson said. “That’s on us as players and we have to bounce back.”
It’s a team looking to rebound after two losses that could have easily had a different outcome. The Chargers have now lost 25 of their last 34 games.
“I’m focused on next week now and I think everyone else here is, too,” defensive end Joey Bosa said. “We have to get back to work.”
While it came in a losing cause, the touchdown reception by Antonio Gates was special. It gave him 112 in his stellar career, allowing him to pass Tony Gonzalez for the most all-time by a tight end. A message from Gonzalez was played on the StubHub Center video board after Gates’ historic catch.
“He’s a guy who set the standard,” Gates said of Gonzalez. “A guy who put in place certain things at the tight end position. Fortunately, I was able to surpass him.”