Rivers confident he will rebound

Once again, the Chargers go into a game wondering about their quarterback.

To a degree.

The Chargers welcome the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, wrapping a bow around a regular season which has seen them set a franchise mark with 13 victories.

And at the helm of every victory has been Rivers, the first-year starter who will cap his season at the Pro Bowl.

But of late, he hasn't bowled over anyone with his numbers. In his last two games, he's completed 18-of-53 for 278 yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble.

He's also gone 2-0 in those games and that is what Rivers and coach Marty Schottenheimer are focusing on.

Plus, Sunday's victory came when Rivers successfully ran a two-minute drill which had the Chargers scoring the winning touchdown on a 37-yard pass to Vincent Jackson with 29 seconds remaining.

"The thing that's exciting about it is that he plays his best in the fourth quarter when the game's on the line," Schottenheimer said. "That shows that he doesn't let things get to him; he continues to make plays in a timely fashion."

Schottenheimer went as far as to compare Rivers to Hall of Famer Joe Montana. Like Montana, Schottenheimer said Rivers forgets a play -- good or bad -- as soon as it is over, concentrating on what's next.

What's next for Rivers is defeating the Cardinals, which would give the Chargers home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs. Those shaky numbers are just that, and no need to hit the panic button.

"It's nothing that can't be corrected and won't be corrected," said Rivers, who remains the NFL's top-rated fourth-quarter passer with a 116.6 mark. Overall, he is No. 8.

"Ultimately, it comes down to if your quarterback feels that," LaDainian Tomlinson said of Rivers' confidence. "You can feel that all you want, but your quarterback has to make the throws. I think it's obvious that he felt like that."

The team still feels certain Rivers can get it where it wants to go: Super Bowl XLI. And about those rough patches the past two weeks?

"He's going through a learning process," Schottenheimer said, "and there is no way to do it other than go play the game."


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