One game at a time

The Chargers are happy to be home – a place they will bunker down for two weeks before another road trip and three hour time difference.

The Chargers have had it with the East Coast, and that is comforting news to a team weary of crisscrossing the nation.

Four times the Chargers traveled to the opposite coast this year, and what do they have show for it? A spiffy 3-1 record, with the third win coming Sunday against the Washington Redskins. They previously won on the road against the New England Patriots and the New York Jets. And save a blocked field goal in Philadelphia, the Chargers would have swept their four games.

The Chargers realize they were fortunate to win on Sunday, when they trailed nearly the entire game only to pull it out on LaDainian Tomlinson's 41-yard run in overtime.

"In the fourth quarter (on Sunday), I thought we were going to win for sure, and I believe all of us thought that way," Redskins safety Matt Bowen said.

A loss Sunday would have seriously derailed the team's chances of catching the Denver Broncos, who enjoy a two-game lead in the AFC West, as well as their chase for a wild-card berth.

"The win is huge," coach Marty Schottenheimer said. "I don't ever like to put 'you must win' on any football game. I'm reluctant to do that because if you should fail, then what do you tell the players?"

But the Chargers didn't lose, and that's why they had plenty of spring in their step Monday. Although some just preferred to put their feet up and kick back after Schottenheimer granted them a Victory Monday and gave them the day off.

It was a holiday, after a holiday weekend, one that was well-deserved after their fourth win in a row.

The players can bask -- briefly -- in the victory and lick their wounds while getting ready for the visiting Raiders on Sunday night.

"I think (the Redskins game) really said a lot of us," linebacker Steve Foley said. "We were down pretty much the whole game, and (we) fought and never gave up and never slacked off, and that says a lot about our team."

It's a team that is hitting its stride, knowing its farthest remaining road trip is to Indianapolis on Dec. 19.

But the Chargers have proven they are road warriors, and they will greet the challenge of knocking off the impressive Colts.

"If we just continue to focus only on one game at a time and keep notching it up that way, in the end everything will work out for us," quarterback Drew Brees said.


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