Rivers: Worst play, maybe, but not worst day
SAN DIEGO (AP)
Philip Rivers wants to set the record straight.
TV cameras caught Rivers saying what appeared to be, ''This is the worst day ever,'' moments after he fumbled away the snap in the final minutes of regulation Monday night as the San Diego Chargers were driving to what appeared to be certain victory at Kansas City.
The Chiefs recovered and went on to win 23-20 in overtime.
On Wednesday, Rivers said all the lip-readers out there are wrong.
''I didn't say that. I don't know if I ever said that. It wasn't the worst day ever. It may have been the worst play I've ever been a part of, but it wasn't the worst day,'' Rivers said as the Chargers began preparing to face the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday.
Regardless of what he said, the fumbled snap contributed to an ugly two-game slide that has normally placid Chargers fans livid about everything from Rivers' play to Norv Turner's coaching to the job general manager A.J. Smith has done in assembling a team that many feel should be blowing out opponents.
Regardless of what he said, Rivers said it was a miserable way to lose.
He said he hasn't watched a replay of the play, when he closed his left hand too early, causing the ball to squirt away.
''It was rough. I mean, anytime you lose ... the loss is a loss. Obviously there's other plays in that game that could have helped us win and other plays that contributed to us losing. That one obviously had the biggest impact, most direct impact. Again, it's a gimme. It's a two-footer, a one-footer,'' he said, using a golf analogy.
''But again, there's no big deal about it. I could talk until I'm blue in the face and still we're going to 4-3 at the end of the day. We get nine more tries to give ourselves a chance and it starts Sunday.''
The Chargers are 5 1/2-point underdogs to Aaron Rodgers and the defending Super Bowl champion Packers.
Many fans have wondered for weeks if there's something wrong with Rivers, physically or otherwise.
''I really don't make anything of it. Honestly,'' he said.
Many people are curious if Rivers has a chest injury. He took some hard shots early in the season, particularly in a loss at New England in Week 2.
Is there anything wrong?
''No. No. I mean, you can decide that,'' he said. ''There's nothing wrong, other than some throws and some things, obviously. Yeah, I haven't played perfectly. Nothing close to it. But nothing's wrong.''
Rivers also threw two interceptions on Monday night, giving him 11 for the season to go along with three lost fumbles. He's thrown only seven touchdown passes.
His passer rating is just 80.7 By comparison, his lowest rating for a full season was 82.4 in 2007, Turner's first as Chargers coach. His highest was 105.5 in 2008.
Monday night's debacle followed a loss at the New York Jets in which the Chargers blew an 11-point halftime lead, were shut out in the second half and botched a two-minute drill.
On Monday, Turner said he thinks Rivers is pressing at times.
''I'm trying to do the best I can. Again, it's hard to feel your own self, exactly what you're doing. If you knew what you were doing, that it would hinder you, you wouldn't do it. I haven't been on my best stretch lately, obviously. But not by any means is it going to make me slow down or quit trying or lose any confidence. I'm going to keep fighting. We've still got a long way to go.''
Has Turner said anything to him about pressing?
''Nah,'' Rivers said.
Nine players missed practice, including left guard Kris Dielman and running back Curtis Brinkley, who have concussions and haven't been cleared to practice. Dielman was hurt in the loss to the Jets. Brinkley was hurt Monday night after making some spectacular plays, including the touchdown and conversion that tied the game at 20.
Running back Mike Tolbert, who missed the Kansas City game with a hamstring injury, did practice.