Skip to content

Rivers says Chargers’ focus is winning division games

Chargers' Rivers passes under pressure from Chiefs' Houston during their NFL football game in San Diego Reuters

The Chargers won the AFC West in each of quarterback Philip Rivers‘ first four seasons as the starter. Now they’ve missed the playoffs in three straight seasons. Rivers says it’s time to change that.

In an interview on NFL Network, Rivers said that the primary focus in San Diego is on winning the AFC West, and the Chargers think that if they do that, they’re going to be in very good shape heading into January.

“I think all 32 teams know the ultimate goal is a championship, but I think for us, we’ve got to get back to winning that AFC West,” Rivers said. “It all starts in the division. We won it four, five, six years in a row, and we’ve been out of it now three years in a row.”

The Chargers were swept by the Broncos last year, and Rivers knows that can’t happen again this year.

“We haven’t won our division games,” Rivers said. “I think our focus is winning in the division. You go 3-3 in the division, you’re fighting an uphill battle. You go 5-1, 6-0 in the division . . . I think you win division games, and find a way to get back into January. It’s been rough watching from home there the last three years.”

Unless the Chargers can figure out a way to beat the Broncos, they’re probably going to be on the outside looking in at the playoffs at the end of this year, too.

Permalink 52 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, San Diego Chargers, Top Stories
52 Responses to “Rivers says Chargers’ focus is winning division games”
  1. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jul 29, 2013 7:14 PM

    The best way for the Chargers to beat the Broncos is to get out to a big lead early, like 24 points, surely that would be insurmountable….

  2. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 29, 2013 7:16 PM

    Focus on winning any game at this point.

  3. unbiasfan says: Jul 29, 2013 7:16 PM

    Well the Chiefs and the Raiders should be 4 easy divisional wins..

  4. nunezmc says: Jul 29, 2013 7:16 PM

    The Chargers only played one and a half games against Denver last year

  5. gloryfromheaven says: Jul 29, 2013 7:18 PM

    As a Broncos fan, I still get a little nervous when we play against Rivers….. Must be because of all the other years he’s torched us.

  6. therealraider says: Jul 29, 2013 7:18 PM

    Three years ago the Raiders swept the division .. And missed the playoffs.. those 10 other games kinda matter also.

  7. bgsusteelers says: Jul 29, 2013 7:24 PM

    Ah yes. Focus on just the division games. 6-10 here we come!

  8. drunkadamschefter says: Jul 29, 2013 7:25 PM

    Bet the Chargers wish they still had Drew Brees about now.

    Only thing Bolts will be in contention for is the #1 pick. But they’ll even get beat within the division for that (Oakland).

  9. souldogdave says: Jul 29, 2013 7:25 PM

    San Diego might have had a chance…But Manning is in the division now. He will remain king of the division for this year and next. Alex Smith and the Andy Reid coached Chiefs have better personnel than San Diego and will be better coached. Meanwhile, the Chargers best players are gone, the replacements, well…And Rivers has gotten older and worse. No rings for the Chargers.

  10. natelan69 says: Jul 29, 2013 7:25 PM

    atwatercrushesokoye says:
    Jul 29, 2013 7:14 PM
    The best way for the Chargers to beat the Broncos is to get out to a big lead early, like 24 points, surely that would be insurmountable….

    ————————–

    As a Charger fan… I lol’d at your comment. Cheers.

  11. humb0lt says: Jul 29, 2013 7:26 PM

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Chargers Super Bowl Express? All aboard the train. All aboard the train.

  12. 737driver69 says: Jul 29, 2013 7:28 PM

    The only comment I have to say to this article is, THANK YOU for giving us the real quarterback out of two of them, and his name is DREW BREES….Rivers is FAKE, and with all the suffering Chargers fan, good luck with this guy again………….

  13. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 29, 2013 7:29 PM

    Sure would be nice to pick some of your wins to be those division games. If only everybody could do it then it would be back to square one, or where we are still at today. I feel totally unaffected by Rivers’ realization. Except for the thought that his mental processing seems to be taking an unnecessarily long route. Uh-oh that’s not a good trait for a QB.

  14. natelan69 says: Jul 29, 2013 7:30 PM

    By “winning division games”, Rivers means beating the Broncos.

    Obviously we’ll sweep the Raiders and Chiefs.

  15. blurryvisi0n says: Jul 29, 2013 7:32 PM

    Not that I’m a Chargers fan but firing Marty Schottenheimer was the biggest mistake in team history. I’m pretty sure the last three years would have been different.

  16. theuglitruth says: Jul 29, 2013 7:35 PM

    I guess there is some relief for Bolt fan’s that they have finally solved the “math” problem that was keeping them from the playoffs. Thanks Philip Rivers.

  17. mikebyrne1502 says: Jul 29, 2013 7:50 PM

    Is it fair to say that this team never adapted norv turners offense? I don’t know if they’ll make the playoffs but its sure sounds nice

  18. psuraiders says: Jul 29, 2013 7:56 PM

    Raiders swept the AFC West 2 years ago and how did things end up for them? Better off focusing on a championship.

  19. grimmlock42 says: Jul 29, 2013 8:01 PM

    You wanna talk about a quarterback that doesn’t know his math. Winning the division will only get you a 6-10 record. If Rivers had half a brain, he would’ve said I wanna focus on winning our home games. Atleast there you got an 8-8 record. That’s what you charger fans get for letting Drew Brees go. Keep your heads up charger fans. hahaha!!!! Yeah Right!!!

  20. vaughnjoe says: Jul 29, 2013 8:02 PM

    Chargers will achieve greatness as soon as the team is sold to an owner that knows how to run a football team that can compete in the twenty first century.

  21. floridaslonechargersfan says: Jul 29, 2013 8:08 PM

    Love ya Phil but even if you had won the two games against Denver last year the record would have been 9-7 and we would still have been on the outside looking in! Focus on

    A) Not committing silly/bonehead plays. This could be untimely penalties (cost us the Saints game) or boneheaded turnovers (cost us the Buccaneers game)

    B) Keeping the collective foot on the gas pedal (cost us the 1st Denver game and the Ravens game. 4th and 29? Are you serious?)

    C) Not completing $hi++ing the bed offensively (3 points against ATL, 7 points against CAR and 6 points against the CLEVELAND BROWNS and 6 points on offense against the Bengals).

    Focus on simply doing those three things and I can almost GUARANTEE better results.

  22. chargerdillon says: Jul 29, 2013 8:22 PM

    As a lifetime Charger fan I have good news and bad news for everybody. Whenever the Chargers are picked to be a top tier team, they always disappoint.

    Likewise when the Chargers are picked to be a really bad team, they always disappoint those people too.

    As a Charger fan however, whether we go 1-15 or make it to the Superbowl, I still expect to be disappointed.

    So….as always IM EXCITED! (until im disappointed)

  23. natelan69 says: Jul 29, 2013 8:25 PM

    Chargers 2013 Schedule:

    LOSE TEXANS
    WIN AT EAGLES
    WIN AT TITANS
    WIN COWBOYS
    WIN AT RAIDERS
    LOSE COLTS
    WIN AT JAGUARS
    LOSE AT REDSKINS
    WIN BRONCOS
    WIN AT DOLPHINS
    WIN AT CHIEFS
    WIN BENGALS
    LOSE GIANTS
    LOSE AT BRONCOS
    WIN RAIDERS
    WIN CHIEFS

    Chargers end at 11-5.

    Broncos 2013 Schedule:

    LOSE RAVENS
    LOSE AT GIANTS
    WIN RAIDERS
    WIN EAGLES
    WIN AT COWBOYS
    WIN JAGUARS
    WIN AT COLTS
    WIN REDSKINS
    LOSE AT CHARGERS
    WIN CHIEFS
    LOSE AT PATRIOTS
    WIN AT CHIEFS
    WIN TITANS
    WIN CHARGERS
    LOSE AT TEXANS
    WIN AT RAIDERS

    Broncos end at 11-5.

    Looks like division wins will mean a lot more than you naysayers are giving Rivers credit for.

  24. atwatercrushesokoye says: Jul 29, 2013 8:39 PM

    As a Broncos fan here’s my take on the Chargers: they were never quite as talented as the media made them out to be, but now they’re not as bad as some media makes them out to be. I think they’re still the second best team in the division, and have the possibility to make the playoffs but they have several things they need to improve for that to happen:
    1. The o-line needs to be a lot better, they’ve been horrible the past 2 years, if the Chargers are to get better they need to improve.
    2. Ryan Matthews needs to finally stay healthy and show why he was drafted so high.
    3. Rivers needs to quit turning the ball over, the team doesn’t have the room for error they had in previous years, they can’t overcome costly turnovers. The Broncos came back from the 24-0 deficit because of Rivers’ turnovers, that was the turning point for both teams seasons.

  25. xgarcia22 says: Jul 29, 2013 8:45 PM

    Rivers should focus on not leading the league in interceptions for the third straight year. 3-peat??

  26. raiderapologist says: Jul 29, 2013 8:47 PM

    humb0lt says: Jul 29, 2013 7:26 PM

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Chargers Super Bowl Express? All aboard the train. All aboard the train.
    ————
    You’re thinking Marrakesh Express. See what happens when weed becomes legal? Guys like humb0lt and natelan69 get all stupid.

  27. boltmafia17 says: Jul 29, 2013 9:14 PM

    xgarcia22 says:
    Rivers should focus on not leading the league in interceptions for the third straight year. 3-peat??

    Want to hear a magic number, xgarcia22?
    9. As is in ‘Nueve’ if you prefer.

    That’s how many quarterbacks had more interceptions than Rivers in 2012. Do your home-work, dear child. Hard to have a ‘3-peat’ without having a 2nd before hand.

  28. boltmafia17 says: Jul 29, 2013 9:16 PM

    xgarcia22 says:
    Rivers should focus on not leading the league in interceptions for the third straight year. 3-peat??

    Or even a first for that matter.

  29. dasmol says: Jul 29, 2013 9:34 PM

    He pretty clearly referenced getting back to winning that AFC West. That usually involves winning some division games.

    raiderapologist must be a snob from Oaksterdam U.

  30. coachbeck says: Jul 29, 2013 9:35 PM

    @natelan69 lol you think chargers will beat the Bengals.

    I guess if the Bengals defense doesn’t show up. You won’t block their DL and other end will eat that rookie for breakfast

  31. chargerdillon says: Jul 29, 2013 10:18 PM

    atwatercrushesokoye you know your opponent very well, and that’s about as honest and spot on as I can see it as well.

    As much as we are rivals I’ve always loved Peyton and I expected you guys to win it all last year.

    I expect the exact same thing this year. Rivals or not, I’m rooting for you if it’s not the Chargers

  32. BigBeachBall says: Jul 29, 2013 10:30 PM

    Wins going back 4 seasons.

    2009
    August 22 at Arizona Cardinals W 17–6
    September 4 San Francisco 49ers W 26–7
    September 14 at Oakland Raiders W 24–20
    September 27 Miami Dolphins W 23–13
    October 25 at Kansas City Chiefs W 37–7
    November 1 Oakland Raiders W 24–16
    November 8 at New York Giants W 21–20
    November 15 Philadelphia Eagles W 31–23
    November 22 at Denver Broncos W 32–3
    November 29 Kansas City Chiefs W 43–14
    December 6 at Cleveland Browns W 30–23
    December 13 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–17
    December 20 Cincinnati Bengals W 27–24
    December 25 at Tennessee Titans W 42–17
    January 3 Washington Redskins W 23–20

    2010
    August 14 Chicago Bears W 25–10
    September 19 Jacksonville Jaguars W 38–13
    October 3 Arizona Cardinals W 41–10
    October 31 Tennessee Titans W 33–25
    November 7 at Houston Texans W 29–23
    November 22 Denver Broncos W 35–14
    November 28 at Indianapolis Colts W 36–14
    December 12 Kansas City Chiefs W 31–0
    December 16 San Francisco 49ers W 34–7
    January 2 at Denver Broncos W 33–28

    2011
    August 21 at Dallas Cowboys W 20–7
    August 27 at Arizona Cardinals W 34–31
    September 11 Minnesota Vikings W 24–17
    September 25 Kansas City Chiefs W 20–17
    October 2 Miami Dolphins W 26–16
    October 9 at Denver Broncos W 29–24
    December 5 at Jacksonville Jaguars W 38–14
    December 11 Buffalo Bills W 37–10
    December 18 Baltimore Ravens W 34–14
    January 1 at Oakland Raiders W 38–26

    2012
    August 9 Green Bay Packers W 21–13
    August 18 Dallas Cowboys W 28–20
    August 24 at Minnesota Vikings W 12–10
    September 10 at Oakland Raiders W 22–14
    September 16 Tennessee Titans W 38–10
    September 30 at Kansas City Chiefs W 37–20
    November 1 Kansas City Chiefs W 31–13
    December 9 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 34–24
    December 23 at New York Jets W 27–17
    December 30 Oakland Raiders W 24–21

  33. robgilman says: Jul 29, 2013 11:07 PM

    humb0lt says: Jul 29, 2013 7:26 PM

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Chargers Super Bowl Express? All aboard the train. All aboard the train.
    ———————————————————–
    I see the Charger Choo Choo de-railing somewhere around week 6- week 7. Rivers is past his prime and the fan base has no heart. Good luck trying to fill seats in Qualcomm this year. Good thing for Raiders and Cowboys fans. At least they will sell out 2 games.

  34. sc49ers says: Jul 29, 2013 11:51 PM

    Rivers??????rivers????????come on if not he’s next on the free agency block if he makes it that far……

  35. nelly837 says: Jul 30, 2013 12:19 AM

    To all the Chargers fans, the bolts are completely irrelevant unless you have a side bet bet as to which QB will throw the most interceptions. The bolts finally did win something in the AFC West and that is the title of the most incompetent front office since Al Davis passed away, so congrats on that!!!!!

  36. sanityinsd says: Jul 30, 2013 12:29 AM

    @xgarcia –

    Last year Rivers threw the tenth most INTs, along with Eli. The year before that, the third-highest total. The year before that the 13th highest total. In his career Rivers has a lower career INT rate than Peyton, and one equal to that of Joe Montana.

    Must be nice to live a life of delusion and fabrication.

  37. mystereo says: Jul 30, 2013 12:31 AM

    Norv was fired so the Chargers’ season has already been deemed a wild success.

  38. broncosnative says: Jul 30, 2013 1:57 AM

    @natelan69, no way in hell does the chargers and the broncos finish with the same record. Two, really, you have the broncos losing to all and I mean all the tough teams on the schedule but beating the weaker, be realistic, no way will they start the season 0-2. Stop hating, chargers go 7-9 again, denver goes 14-2, now that realistic. Broncos are better than last year so no way they lose 2 more than last.

  39. rickeyp says: Jul 30, 2013 3:52 AM

    Rivers was a turnover machine the last two years, but he’s never led the league in interceptions xgarcia22

    2012…Rivers 15 — Drew Brees 19, Tony Romo 19
    2011…Rivers 20 — Ryan Fitzpatrick 23
    2010…Rivers 13 — Eli Manning 25
    2009…Rivers 9 — Jay Cutler 26
    2008…Rivers 11 — Brett Favre 22
    2007…Rivers 15 — Carson Palmer 20, Jon Kitna 20, Eli Manning 20
    2006…Rivers 9 — Ben Roethlisberger 23

  40. natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 4:05 AM

    raiderapologist says:
    Jul 29, 2013 8:47 PM
    humb0lt says: Jul 29, 2013 7:26 PM

    Wouldn’t you know we’re riding on the Chargers Super Bowl Express? All aboard the train. All aboard the train.
    ————
    You’re thinking Marrakesh Express. See what happens when weed becomes legal? Guys like humb0lt and natelan69 get all stupid.
    —————–
    Aww, my feelings would be hurt too if no one was taking my team seriously.

    Don’t worry, Raiders fans, you’ll be significant again someday.

  41. joetoronto says: Jul 30, 2013 5:12 AM

    “I think all 32 teams know the ultimate goal is a championship.”

    Charger fans don’t concern themselves with winning a Super Bowl, they hang their hats on preseason rankings.

    Choo choo!

  42. natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 11:14 AM

    joetoronto says:
    Jul 30, 2013 5:12 AM
    “I think all 32 teams know the ultimate goal is a championship.”

    Charger fans don’t concern themselves with winning a Super Bowl, they hang their hats on preseason rankings.

    Choo choo!
    ———————

    At least we have something to hang our hat on…
    #32 lol

  43. natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 11:15 AM

    coachbeck says:
    Jul 29, 2013 9:35 PM
    @natelan69 lol you think chargers will beat the Bengals.

    I guess if the Bengals defense doesn’t show up. You won’t block their DL and other end will eat that rookie for breakfast
    —————————-
    Bengals taste the playoffs for a millisecond and they think they’re the best team in the league… lmao

  44. natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 11:19 AM

    broncosnative says:
    Jul 30, 2013 1:57 AM
    @natelan69, no way in hell does the chargers and the broncos finish with the same record. Two, really, you have the broncos losing to all and I mean all the tough teams on the schedule but beating the weaker, be realistic, no way will they start the season 0-2. Stop hating, chargers go 7-9 again, denver goes 14-2, now that realistic. Broncos are better than last year so no way they lose 2 more than last.
    ——————-

    Broncos started 1-2 and 2-3 out of the gate last year, so that’s perfectly inline with recent events. I then have you on a 6 game winning streak.

    Furthermore, all those “tough teams” are younger and better than yours. I have you beating the Colts and Redskins, unlike the Chargers, but other than that, the other the tougher teams are better than both our teams.

  45. prestigious1 says: Jul 30, 2013 12:25 PM

    Rivers should focus on not choking, not throwing the ball to the other team, and not throwing temper tantrums when he screws up. This is his last chance and when he fails I’ll be glad when we ship him out of town.

  46. yerhatinforhatinsake says: Jul 30, 2013 1:27 PM

    I have no illusions of the Chargers lighting up the league this year. We have a new coaching staff, young players, and it takes time to gel. This team is going to be WAY better without Norv & AJ, and some of the players we cut.. automatically!Good moves have been made, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility for them to make the playoffs. We are still the 2nd best team in the division, until proven otherwise. Obviously, we aren’t happy with that, but the Chiefs & Raiders will have to actually beat us, before they can make any claims about how bad we suck. Get out of the cellar first, and then come talk to us.

  47. yerhatinforhatinsake says: Jul 30, 2013 1:32 PM

    Also, I know that the media is all about the Chiefs this year (again).. doesn’t mean that much. They haven’t significantly upgraded their biggest hole, at QB. Smith is better, but I’m not sold that he can take a 2-14 team to 1st or 2nd place. It’s possible… anything is possible. But, IS Andy Reid really a big upgrade? Didn’t he just get fired for coaching the most STACKED team in recent history (the “Dream Team”) to picking 4th in the draft? These analysts that are about the Chiefs, also picked Philly to go to the Super Bowl with that team. That just isn’t logical to me. As for those 6 pro-bowlers, weren’t they on the team last year, too?

    The Broncos are definitely scary with all that firepower, and have a great D. But, they just lost both of their starting centers, and signed some guy off the street. Actually, they have multiple injuries on their o-line. The biggest reason for their success, was how comfortable Manning was in the pocket. It never seemed to collapse. I wonder if that will still be the case? It could be much different, if this o-line isn’t healthy. Not to mention, they won’t have their #1 pass rusher for the first 4 games, and their next best option is someone the Chargers didn’t want. Not saying they will be MUCH worse, but there are concerns, regardless.

    I’m not saying the Chiefs can’t do it, but nobody knows if they can, either. Same with us. The Broncos have a great shot again, but are struggling with injuries, suspensions, and distractions early on. The Raiders? Well, it will be a long season for yall.. it is what it is. This division will be more competitive this year.. watch. Nobody is a shoe in, until we see what happens come the regular season.

  48. raiderapologist says: Jul 30, 2013 6:48 PM

    natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 4:05 AM

    Aww, my feelings would be hurt too if no one was taking my team seriously.

    Don’t worry, Raiders fans, you’ll be significant again someday.
    ——————
    Yea, and the Chargers might be significant for the first time someday. If you think anyone besides you and a few other deluded fans are taking the Chargers seriously this year, you aren’t paying attention. Getting rid of Turner and Smith didn’t cure all your problems.

  49. natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:10 PM

    raiderapologist says:
    Jul 30, 2013 6:48 PM
    natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 4:05 AM

    Aww, my feelings would be hurt too if no one was taking my team seriously.

    Don’t worry, Raiders fans, you’ll be significant again someday.
    ——————
    Yea, and the Chargers might be significant for the first time someday. If you think anyone besides you and a few other deluded fans are taking the Chargers seriously this year, you aren’t paying attention. Getting rid of Turner and Smith didn’t cure all your problems.
    ———————–

    How many more years of .500 and lower until the Raiders are bumped down to the minor leagues?

  50. raiderapologist says: Jul 30, 2013 9:27 PM

    natelan69 says: Jul 30, 2013 8:10 PM

    How many more years of .500 and lower until the Raiders are bumped down to the minor leagues?
    —————
    If the Raiders don’t beat the Chargers for the next five years, they will be even. You should check back then. You will have 15 years of football experience, and might be closer to knowing what you’re talking about. And who knows? Maybe in the next five years the Chargers will have accomplished something, and will require a trophy case that is bigger than a bread box.

  51. broncosnative says: Jul 31, 2013 12:39 AM

    @natelan69, that was last year when there were doubts about manning after missing all of 2011. This is a new year, manning two years in and is better than last year. So are you really telling me that the Pats, giants, texans and ravens is better than denver? Ask yourself this, beside Brady, who’s gonna help get this team deep into the playoffs? How will the giants defense who lost key guys is gonna stop the broncos offense and how will Eli handle a deep secondary? Do you really think scaub and the texans are gonna repeat with another win vs the broncos? Remember, Peyton owned that team before he left the division and Denver’s offense is in sync. Lastly, do you really think the ravens got that much better than last year? Denver will not lose a home opener to the same team that sent them packing in the playoffs. Denver has a young and most completed team in the NFL and that’s not coming from me, multiples sources made this statement and I haven’t heard anything about another AFC team being favorites to go to the SB from any source.

  52. boltmafia17 says: Jul 31, 2013 1:21 AM

    You’ll have to forgive Raider fans. They are still stuck in a prior decade.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!