|QB Philip Rivers: Careful is the Key|
by Associated Press of SDSuperChargers.com, September 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm ET
Philip Rivers Profile
While Ryan Mathews' possible absence may still plague the San Diego Chargers' rushing attack, another turnover-free effort by Philip Rivers could again help them overcome it.
The Tennessee Titans might need Chris Johnson to get going regardless of who is under center.
San Diego opens its home schedule Sunday seeking an eighth consecutive victory over the Titans, who could have Matt Hasselbeck back at quarterback if Jake Locker isn't healthy enough to go.
With Mathews sidelined by a broken collarbone, the Chargers (1-0) ran 20 times for 32 yards in Monday's 22-14 victory at Oakland. Rivers settled for short passes - 30 of his 33 attempts went fewer than 20 yards - and completed 24 for 231 yards and a touchdown.
The four-time Pro Bowler did not commit a turnover, which is a good sign after he had 25 last season, including a career-high 20 interceptions.
"I've always tried to take care of the football and be smart but you have to be able to manage the situation," Rivers said. "... If you go back since I've been playing here and we don't turn the ball over, it's 90-something percent we win."
Since Rivers took over the starting job in 2006, the Chargers are 22-3 when they don't commit a turnover.
They are 36-11 during that stretch when allowing fewer than two sacks of Rivers, and he was sacked once Monday. Undrafted rookie left tackle Mike Harris had a strong game against the Raiders, according to coach Norv Turner, and could make a second straight start for Jared Gaither (back spasms). The team also signed guard-tackle Reggie Wells on Tuesday for depth.
As for Mathews, who rushed for 1,091 yards in 14 games last season, he has yet to be cleared for practice.
"We're continuing to evaluate him and hopefully it will be sooner than later," Turner said.
The only AFC team with fewer rushing yards in Week 1 than San Diego was Tennessee, which ran for 20 in a 34-13 home loss to New England.