Chargers Hope for the Luck of London

RB LaDainian Tomlinson (Rick Stewart/Getty)

A tired, disappointed Chargers contingent reached London on Monday morning, weighed down by a 23-14 loss to Buffalo and a 3-4 record.

The Chargers had hope to scoot across the Atlantic with a victory over the Bills, which would have pushed them past the .500 mark and made them eager to spread the word about the NFL to those in Great Britain.

Instead the Chargers aren't in the best of moods, as they see a season which they had such high hopes slipping away thanks to their inconsistent play.

It's clear the Chargers can't run the ball, can't stop the run on a regular basis and have zilch of a pass rush.

Add it all up and it's clear that 3-4 record is no fluke.

What isn't so set in stone is the effect of a trip to London. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be so far from home?

Depends on who is asked. After all, the Giants came to England last year and beat the Dolphins on a rainy day, then eventually won the Super Bowl.


QB Philip Rivers
Doug Pensinger/Getty

"I don't think you can put too much stock into that," said quarterback Philip Rivers, still feeling the sting from committing three turnovers in the loss at Buffalo. "We would love to have it happen again. Come here and win and hopefully win a bigger one later. (But) no, I don't think there is any (correlation)."

But LaDainian Tomlinson -- who has been a shadow of himself this year, done in by a bad toe and bad run-blocking -- doesn't agree.

"It is a good escape for us," said Tomlinson, who was restricted to 41 yards on 14 carries at Buffalo. "Obviously losing (Sunday), a lot of guys are really down about that loss. I think it really gives us time to take a deep breath, time to get away from the national media in the States and just have some time to ourselves and really just get close and bond a little bit."

Tomlinson said that was what the Giants did when they were here last year. And in Tomlinson's eyes, overlooking that would be a mistake.

"I honestly think that's why the Giants were successful last year," Tomlinson said of their jaunt to jolly old England. "They were kind of going through the same struggles; they came here and it kind of changed their season. We're hoping for the same kind of luck. Hopefully London brings us that."

Rivers counters that it will be more about the work leading up to mastering the Saints than the locale.

"The matchup is fun," said Rivers, who faces old teammate Drew Brees. "It's a team you don't play very often. The preparation from that standpoint, you have to zero-in on them. It'll be a fun week, and hopefully it ends on a high note on Sunday."

NOTES, QUOTES

--WR Vincent Jackson continues his breakout season, as he has picked up his game with Chris Chambers out. Jackson leads the team with 26 receptions and 478 yards. He's not throwing in the towel with the team at 3-4. "It's a long season," he said. "There are still a lot of games to be played yet. We're going to try and win our division and get into the playoffs."

--The Chargers' running game is still MIA. Consider the Bolts had but 72 rushing yards Sunday, and 31 of those came on a reverse by Jackson. "It is what it is," LT Marcus McNeill said.

--Not only didn't the Chargers record a sack against Buffalo's Trent Edwards, they weren't even credited with a quarterback hurry. "From a defensive standpoint, our job is to get to the quarterback, and we weren't able to do that," OLB Marques Harris said.

--QB Philip Rivers had a decent game, but his three turnovers cost the Chargers another loss. "Rightfully so, I should shoulder a lot of blame for this game. I was playing pretty good, and then you have the three turnovers," he said.

--The power went off and on repeatedly at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which gave the early part of the game a different feel -- with no clocks or sound from the loudspeakers. "It was handled as well as it can be handled," coach Norv Turner said. "The officials did the best job that they could. Obviously, when you don't have headsets, the quarterback is coming over to get the signals, but it was the same for both teams."

PLAYER NOTES

--FS Eric Weddle has a sprained ankle but should be fine for Sunday.

--WR Chris Chambers will test his ankle later in the week and is hopeful of playing. He has missed the past two games.

--WR Buster Davis could test his groin injury later this week. But even if he's healthy, it's no lock he would play.

--LT Marcus McNeill sprained his ankle Sunday but is expected to be OK.

--OL Scott Mruczkowski had a sprained ankle but is fine.

--OLB Jyles Tucker (hamstring) is looking as if he will play Sunday. He has missed the past three games.

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