Philip Rivers made his first start in the 27-0 blanking, but his debut will be known for as much as what he didn't do, as what he did.
Rivers only threw the 11 times, completing eight of them for 108 yards and a score. Big numbers? No way. Big boost to the Chargers? Absolutely.
Much like the Steelers did when breaking in quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, not too much was put on Rivers' plate. Instead the Chargers were more than content to pound the ball with LaDainian Tomlinson (131 yards) and unleash a defense which could be the best one the Chargers have produced in years.
"I knew I wasn't going to ease into the season, but I wanted to do what Philip did: I just wanted to take care of the football," Tomlinson said. "The way our defense was playing we could be a little conservative."
The defense had nine sacks, and was in the Raiders' quarterback's faces more times than that. With the grand field position being awarded for their work in sacking the passer, the Chargers were seldom pinned in in the shadow of their own goal post.
Instead, Rivers managed the game with a calm demeanor, passed when he was asked to, took care of the ball and trotted off with the Chargers being the only AFC West team to win its opening game.
"When you don't throw it a lot, you have to be efficient and we were able to do that," Rivers said. "Obviously this will probably be the lowest passing attempts this year. But hey if this is what it takes, I am happy to get it done."
The Chargers got it done all right, giving the Raiders their first home shut out since 1981 and only their second at home all time.
Look for the Chargers to embrace this approach all the time, as long as it results in a win. With this defense and a strong running game, Rivers won't be asked to carry the team. And that could carry on throughout the season.