Chargers remain calm and collected

The tempered concern from the troops this week in San Diego begins near the top with quarterback Drew Brees. His even-keel approach has a trickle down effect in a time when the team could be in a frantic state.

They call him Cool Brees for a reason.

Quarterback Drew Brees isn't panicking on the Chargers' stumble from the gate. He's confident the Chargers can get back on the winning track Sunday, when entertaining the Kansas City Chiefs at Qualcomm Stadium.

But don't confuse Brees' low heartbeat with a lack of concern. He knows it, the Chargers coaches know it, and the entire Charger Nation knows it: a loss against an AFC West rival on Sunday - it would be their second AFC West defeat in three games - would deliver a roundhouse to the Chargers' playoff hopes.

Not a knockout, mind you. But with the Chargers' upcoming rugged schedule which includes three more trips to the Eastern Time Zone, they know a toe-stubbing at home is out of the question.

"We are confident and relaxed but there is definitely a sense of urgency," said Brees, who is 128-of-199 for 1,505 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. "We understand the situation we are in."

A peek at the standings is what gets Brees' attention.

"It's 3-4 and we cannot afford to go out and blow another opportunity like have," he said, referring to Sunday's loss in Philadelphia on a late blocked field goal. "I would like to say that experience tends to prevail in these situations."

So Brees looks around the locker room and sees steady players in running back LaDainian Tomlinson, left tackle Roman Oben, in wide receiver Keenan McCardell, in linebackers like Donnie Edwards and Randall Godfrey. Brees hope their days in the NFL will let the light shine through a difficult stretch.

"We got some solid, veteran guys," Brees said. "This is what the NFL is sometimes: it is tough sledding. But what you want to do is get on a roll and keep it going."

Despite only hitting the season's halfway point, the Chargers have crossed this path twice, and rebounded in the proper fashion.

They started the season 0-2, then pasted the Giants, 45-23.

They were 2-3 when they dominated the Raiders, 27-14.

"We've been through this before," said Brees, who is one interception shy of matching his 2004 total of seven.

But they don't waste too much time looking back on four losses by a combined 12 points.

"Sure we could sit here and say, 'we could be 7-0 or 6-1 or whatever,"' Brees said. "But the reality is we are 3-4 and we can't do anything about that."

But Brees, last year's NFL comeback player of the year in a Pro Bowl season, believes what doesn't kill you, makes you tougher.

"I believe things happen for a reason," he stressed. "We have those losses for a reason; we are facing this adversity for a reason. It is only going to teach us and make us wiser in the future and build our team."

The Chargers believe they can build a winning streak off a victory Sunday. That they can get past the Chiefs, and then handle a Jets team on the road which has major questions at quarterback.

That would put the Chargers at 5-4 heading into their bye week.

It won't be a breeze. But with the reliable Brees at quarterback, the Chargers are confident they can pull it off.


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