Los An­ge­les Charg­ers

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - AFC WEST -

The Charg­ers showed Aug. 26 how dif­fer­ent a team they are with Philip Rivers at quar­ter­back. They have scored touch­downs on all three pos­ses­sions he has played this pre­sea­son.

In two pos­ses­sions in the team’s 21-19 win against the Los An­ge­les Rams, Rivers com­pleted all six of his passes for 85 yards and a touch­down.

“This is about the time you start to itch for the opener,” Rivers said. “I’ve got­ten in there enough this pre­sea­son that I feel ready to go.”

It was his first time on the field since the first pos­ses­sion of the pre­sea­son opener when he was 5-for-6 for 56 yards and a touch­down. Since that game and be­fore the Rams one, the Charg­ers had scored one of­fen­sive touch­down.

“When he’s on the field, he’s a leader and he gets us in the right place, right po­si­tions, and you know, we move the ball,” head coach An­thony Lynn said. “Our first unit is not just Phil. But, our first unit has moved the ball well in this pre­sea­son.”

Four of Rivers’ com­ple­tions were to WR Keenan Allen, who played only one game last sea­son be­cause of a knee in­jury.

“It was nice to get him into a rhythm com­ing off that knee in­jury,” Rivers said. “I know that he’s had a great camp, but to get in the ac­tion more, I know that men­tally cer­tainly helps.”

Rookie watch: The third tight-end job be­hind An­to­nio Gates and Hunter Henry could be won by un­drafted free agent Sean Culkin (Mis­souri). He played 34 snaps against the Rams. Note­wor­thy: Play­ing 11 snaps in his pre­sea­son de­but re­turn­ing from a knee in­jury, CB Ja­son Ver­rett had an in­ter­cep­tion. ... DE Joey Bosa had a strip­sack of QB Jared Goff and DE Melvin In­gram re­turned it 76

yards for a touch­down. It was the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive game in which the Charg­ers scored a de­fen­sive touch­down. ... QB Car

dale Jones played 31 snaps and Lynn said, “I thought he took a step for­ward.”

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