Off the bye

The Chargers are coming off a bye, will be wearing the powder blues – New York Jets nightmare at the Q?

Two years removed from that thrashing, the Chargers are cognizant of the lull a bye week can afford. "It is coming off the bye and I remember two years ago coming off the bye versus the Jets and we all know what happened then and we were in our throwbacks," linebacker Donnie Edwards explained. "We are in our throwbacks this week and hopefully we can change that streak at the Q."

While Roman Oben and Steve Foley remained sidelined at mid-week, many other players will return to play in a pivotal game against the Bills.

A .500 record at this stage of the game makes Sunday's game a playoff atmosphere. It is no wonder the Bolts deflected any and all questions aimed at how the Jacksonville's and Cincinnati's of the world have easy schedules.

The Chargers have to worry about themselves.

"Our number one goal is to win the west," quarterback Drew Brees said. "There is other ways to get in. We are not worried about it. If we take care of all of our business we will be fine."

Hall of Famer and soon to be honored wide receiver Lance Alworth has high hopes for the team he watches each Sunday.

The former Charger great says the camaraderie the team has exhibited will serve them well down the stretch.

"These guys are playing as a team and playing for one another," said Alworth.

It is the one mind philosophy that each player exhibits, a trickle-down from the head coach.

You will here lots of clichés that all spewed forth from Marty Schottenheimer.

The offensive focus is on the red zone.

"Just being poised in the red zone and not settling for field goals," tight end Antonio Gates said. "So far we have been able to make plays. We collectively believe that is how you win games."

The defense is tuned into consistency on all fronts.

"The defense has got to go out and do their job despite the adversity we run into," safety Terrence Kiel said. "We've put ourselves into a hole and we have to look forward to the rest of the season."

This isn't the team of two years ago. They are sitting on the edge of a knockout – their own. They don't have time for losses. The avenge of the Jets two weeks ago could prove the one that turns the corner and pushes this team into the playoffs. Or perhaps it is this week – or the week after – or the week after – that is what happens when the trench has been dug.


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