Chargers not alarmed, yet

The Chargers swear they aren't stressed over their 0-2 start.

Maybe that's their problem.

The Chargers shifted through the ashes of their second consecutive loss to open the season, this one coming in Denver by a 20-17 verdict.

"The mood and sense is one of frustration and disappointment," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "But you better not get caught up in the past whether it's good or it's bad."

So far it's been bad. But Schottenheimer is still in love with his team.

"We have a good football team," he stressed. "And I like this football team. But we have to find a way to capitalize on opportunities presented to us."

This year was promised to be in which the Chargers would return to the playoffs -- and dare we say deep in the playoffs. But those plans have blown up faster than a trick cigar.

What's so troubling about the Chargers' stroll from the gate is what awaits around the next turn, a Sunday night contest with the visiting New York Giants.

After that, a daunting stretch includes a road trip to New England, a home game against the Steelers and two more away games at Oakland and Philadelphia. That gives many in Charger Nation cause for concern.

Except Schottenheimer, who has seen his overall mark in San Diego slip to 24-26.

"If we were 0-14, there would be some cause for alarm," Schottenheimer said. "But we are 0-2 in two games that we had an opportunity to win. We are 0-2 -- the roof is not falling in."

A loss Sunday night and the beams could be bouncing off the Bolts. And what makes the weekend matchup even more exciting is Eli Manning will be directing the Giants' offense.

Still, Chargers quarterback Drew Brees tried to downplay how critical Sunday's contest is.

"It's just another game," he said. "I say just another game, but maybe just a little bit more important just for the fact that we need a win; but it doesn't matter who is coming in."

And if you believe that, there are ocean-front mansions for sale in San Diego for $100,000. The Chargers would love nothing more than to slap Manning in the face after he did just that before the 2004 season when telling the Chargers not to draft him.

"The fact that we are playing on Sunday night, there is going to be a lot of excitement," Brees said. "Maybe it makes the fans just a tiny bit louder to yell profanities at Eli, I don't know. But for us, it's just another game."

Yeah, right. It's hard to say there's a must-win game in September. But if there ever was, it might come Sunday night for the Chargers.

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