Schottenheimer recently boiled the Chargers' uneven year down to a nine-game season. Game 2 comes in the Meadowlands Sunday when the Chargers visit the New York Jets.
The Chargers won the first game of Schottenheimer's nine-game run to the playoffs, outlasting the Kansas City Chiefs last week.
So for all intents and purposes, the Chargers are undefeated. That's pretty good considering they are past the season's halfway point.
"It feels pretty good," said quarterback Drew Brees, about no blemishes this late in the year.
But the Chargers' season has seen its share of pimples.
This team which was to be among the AFC's elite has scuffed around to a 4-4 mark. Their season has been marked more by what they haven't done -- win the close games; their four losses are by a combined 12 points -- than what they've done.
Being at the .500 mark heading into November was once cause for celebration in San Diego. But a team which last year put behind it a string of eight non-winning seasons was shooting for more this year.
That's why Schottenheimer did what good coaches do: have the players focus on the future and what might be in store instead of dwelling on missed opportunities.
"It all lies in front of us," Schottenheimer said. "If we take care of business in front of us we're going to be OK."
So it has become a nine-game season. A stretch in which the Chargers almost welcome, even if it includes road visits to the Jets on Sunday, Washington, D.C., Indianapolis and Kansas City.
The Chargers enter Giants Stadium weary after a five-game stretch of facing both Super Bowl participants on the road and five straight teams enjoying extra time to prepare and get well -- four teams coming off a bye and Kansas City getting three extra days thanks to Hurricane Wilma.
The Jets KO'd them from the playoffs last year and also beat them in the regular-season -- both at Qualcomm Stadium. And the Chargers need to keep pace in the wild card race -- so the significance of an AFC victory is critical with the first-place Broncos continuing to win.
And, they can keep their season perfect -- in Schottenheimer's eyes anyway.