Turner 'as upset as anyone' after Bolts' loss

BY foxsports • September 25, 2012

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Two interceptions, two fumbles, an ineffective pass rush and too little success protecting Philip Rivers.

To San Diego Chargers fans, it's all too familiar.

Even though the Atlanta Falcons had a short week and a long flight, they had no trouble beating the Chargers 27-3 on Sunday.

"I'm as upset as anyone in San Diego," coach Norv Turner said Monday. "I don't like going out and having our team perform the way we performed. It happened; we've got to fix it. We're going to do everything in our power to fix it."

The game was blacked out in Southern California, sparing thousands of fans the agony of watching the undefeated Falcons overwhelm the Chargers.

There's plenty for the Chargers (2-1) to work on before visiting their personal house of horrors, Arrowhead Stadium, for a game against the division rival Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

The most costly of the four turnovers was Ryan Mathews' fumble at the Atlanta 4-yard line as the Bolts, trailing 6-0, were trying to take the lead in the second quarter.

Instead, it set up an epic 96-yard scoring drive by Atlanta, which went on to take a 20-0 lead at halftime.

Mathews has fumbled 11 times in 27 career games, losing six. He was making his season debut Sunday after breaking his collarbone on his first carry in the exhibition opener on Aug. 9.

Turner said the Chargers will continue to work with Mathews to try to correct the problem, and he hinted that other backs could take part of the load.

"So while we're getting Ryan to where he can play an extended period and protect the ball, there's certain situations we're going to limit his exposures," Turner said. "If we can do that, obviously it goes in our favor in terms of the percentages."

Turner wouldn't be more specific.

"I'm not giving our game plan out in terms of where we're doing it, but there are certain things where we have more chances than others," Turner said. "We're looking at each of the times he's lost the football. We've had the teaching reel and all that. When and where they occur would be part of it."

Turner dodged a question about giving more carries to Jackie Battle, who's had big runs in the fourth quarter in the last two games.

"It's Monday and I'm not going to talk about who's going to carry the ball on the goal line and who's going to carry the ball on third-and-1. We'll all find out on Sunday."

Mathews said he was trying to fight for more yards when Sean Witherspoon forced the fumble, which Thomas DeCoud recovered. DeCoud also intercepted Rivers twice.

"I thought I protected the ball pretty good," Mathews said. "It was just that one play. Coming back from not being in the preseason and everything, guys were doing a lot of hitting in there. Missing the first couple of games, I think there was a little bit of wear and tear on me because I wasn't really carrying the ball with contact. It was the first week back. But you can't make excuses. If I want to touch the ball as many times as I want to touch it in a game, I can't put it on the ground. My goal was not having any fumbles, but my goal at the end of the season is to just have one."

Now it's on to Kansas City, scene of a painful defeat during a six-game losing streak last year that derailed the Chargers' season, contributing to them missing the playoffs for the second straight year.

With the Chargers driving for the potential winning field goal late in regulation, Rivers fumbled a snap and the Chiefs recovered. Kansas City went on to win 23-20 in overtime.

"You never want to play like we did yesterday, but when you do, you definitely have to learn from it and get to the next game because there's no waiting around and feeling sorry for yourself," Rivers said Monday. "It's a new week, and we know how important it is to win division games. We're headed into Kansas City, and they're coming off a huge game in New Orleans. So there's no time to overanalyze the previous game or sulk, because we've got to go on the road and win in a new environment. Kansas City doesn't care that we lost or how we feel. We have to go in there and win that game."

Turner said LT Jared Gaither is making progress from the back spasms that have sidelined him since July 28. ... Fans voted former punter Darren Bennett into the Chargers Hall of Fame. The Aussie will be inducted at halftime of the Nov. 25 game against the Baltimore Ravens. A two-time Pro Bowler, Bennett beat former running back Natrone Means and former wide receiver Anthony Miller. Bennett, with the Chargers from 1995-2003, was named the punter on the NFL's all-Decade team of the 1990s after a distinguished career as an Australian Rules football player.