ANGST MOUNTS FOR qb RIVERS

Winnipeg Sun - - SPORTS - — John Kryk

FOXBORO, Mass. — It wasn’t the post-game sit­u­a­tion Philip Rivers en­vi­sioned. Alas, it’s one he’s used to.

The Los An­ge­les Charg­ers quar­ter­back did his best to con­trol his frus­tra­tions and emo­tions after com­ing up far too short of a Su­per Bowl berth for the 15th time in 15 NFL sea­sons, fol­low­ing a 42-28 loss at New Eng­land that only got close in garbage time.

No one saw such a lop­sided loss com­ing for L.A. Es­pe­cially when the Charg­ers had won ev­ery game out­side Los An­ge­les this sea­son. Or, as Rivers put it:

“We won ev­ery game we got on a plane this year, ex­cept this one. So we’d done a heck of a job on the road.”

Not this time. Lit­tle went right over the first three-and-a-half quar­ters, in which time the Pa­tri­ots ran up a 38-7 lead by scor­ing on ev­ery pos­ses­sion but one, and ex­e­cut­ing 61 of­fen­sive plays for 404 yards, which in­cluded 117 on the ground from rookie run­ner Sony Michel and 278 on the arm of Tom Brady.

That shows how aw­ful the Charg­ers de­fence played. The Charg­ers of­fence an­swered New Eng­land’s first touch­down with a fast one of its own — a 43-yard bolt from Rivers to re­ceiver Keenan Allen be­hind the Pats’ sec­ondary — but then got stoned un­til the Pa­tri­ots of­fen­sive tsunami fi­nally sub­sided.

“They just out­played us,” Rivers said, be­fore point­ing out to a ques­tioner that he never lost his com­po­sure, no mat­ter what it might have looked like.

“There was never a lack of com­po­sure. I think some­times my demon­stra­tive move­ment may look that way, but I was just poised as could be. The whole time … If you’ve watched me for 210 games, as you’d see for all 210, it served me well for the most part.”

It was when Rivers was asked how he and his team­mates try to go farther into the post-sea­son next year that, un­less you’re hard-hearted, you couldn’t help but feel for the man.

“It’s tough,” the 37-year-old said. “It is emo­tional be­cause I think you know how hard it is to get to Jan­uary the 13th and be in a play­off game. You’re talk­ing an eight-, nine-month deal. And to come up short again is tough.”

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