After preparing for an uncommon opponent in the Packers — a team they hadn’t faced in 4 years –- the Denver Broncos are now getting set for a meeting with a squad they’re very familiar with.
The division-rival San Diego Chargers travel to Denver Sunday and they enter the contest off to a hot start, boasting a 3-1 record.
“It’s definitely a better first quarter than we’ve had in the past years,” quarterback Philip Rivers said in a conference call earlier. “We still have to keep getting better. We certainly haven’t played our best yet, but it is nice to be winning as we are improving.”
Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner is equally excited about his team’s strong start and credits his players’ ability to find ways to win tight games thus far.
“I thought we had a good camp. I think we did a lot of things to emphasize, or talked about, playing better early,” Turner said. “The biggest thing is that we’ve just played good in the second half of our games and we’ve won close games.”
The Broncos are 1-3 to start the year, but Rivers and the Chargers know full well that early-season results don’t define seasons.
“Everybody last week wanted to get us caught up with the 0-3 Dolphins,” Rivers said. “It’s too early. We’ve been the 1-3 teams and we knew what we were capable of and that’s the same thing with Denver. This is a group that’s got the talent to go on a run and we know our work is going to be cut out for us this week.”
Toward the end of conference call, Rivers was asked to name the Chargers’ biggest AFC West rival.
His response: “All of them.”
But Rivers did mention that he always looks forward to the annual trip to Denver.
“My favorite place to play on the road in the division is in Denver,” Rivers said. “Just because of the challenge, the atmosphere. It’s a pretty stadium empty, just as you walk into the setting. When I come in off the bus, I go peek out of the tunnel. It’s an unbelievable stadium, with the atmosphere and the noise. It’s fun to play on the road when it’s really loud. It’s hard. But it’s a challenge.
“From that standpoint, I love going to Denver.”