QB Philip Rivers: "We just didn’t get it done.”

Quarterback Philip Rivers speaks to the media after the loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 11.

On the last third down:

“We thought it was a screen, [Broncos OLB] Von [Miller] sniffed it out. I wish I had held on to it, just took the sack and ran the time off. I didn’t do that. I wish I had.”

On if it that’s a similar play on the last down:

“Somewhat similar. Not exactly.”

On why there were so many penalties:

“A lot of penalties. We have got to clean that up, then we just didn’t close out the game. Again, not taking the sack there. Just not finishing the game. We had it right there, until the end. We just did some things that were uncharacteristic of the seven wins we’ve had. Now, we’ve got to get that all cleaned up. Get back to work.”

On the second down during the last possession miscommunication between him and RB Melvin Gordon III:

“Yeah, I haven’t even talked to him about it. He must have heard it wrong or something, he went the wrong way. Make sure you put that in context, because I’m not saying it to throw him under the bus. I’m sure he’ll say that as well. Like I said, a few things we just didn’t finish like we should have.”

On if the penalties were due to miscommunication:

“I can’t answer that without seeing it. On some of them, we must have made all of those fouls. We are the ones who did it. I don’t know. We obviously have to clean that up. That’s too many yards in penalties. Then, turning it over twice and them not turning over any, you’re asking to lose a game like we lost when you do that.”

On if this is the most he has been impacted by pressure this season:

“No, shoot, best we did on third down. I didn’t feel any problems with the pressure.”

On if this is a reevaluation check in the season:

“I think it’s just a game. Things can happen. Like, ‘Oh yeah, we’ve tried doing this, this will never happen again.’ It’s every week, you’re playing an NFL opponent and when you make some of the errors you made today in critical moments, you open yourselves up to continue to get beat. That’s what happened today. We had every opportunity to close it out and we just didn’t get it done.”

On if the locker room is positive looking forward:

“Yeah, I think so. We’ve had a good run. Shoot, we’re still sitting at 7-3. There’s no satisfaction, no settling, but we’ve got a lot to look ahead to and it’s right in front of us with Arizona [Cardinals] coming into town. I don’t think there’s any sort of relaxing. We’ve had a heck of a week at practice. I felt we did a lot of really good things out there. We just did the things we haven’t done - the things we have bene able to stay away from, the crucial mistakes we’ve been able to stay away from - we didn’t today. The interception turned the game around to me. That spun the whole game. It was about to be a blowout and he made that play, then the touchdown. Then, all of a sudden, they made it a game. We did those things at the end, kind of mishandling that. When we’ve closed out so many of these games, we’re left on the field, taking a knee. We were one play from doing it again, then next thing you know, you end up one point short.”

On the play where Gordon went the wrong way:

“He must have heard me wrong. He went the wrong way on the call there. Again, repeating myself here, I’m not throwing him under the bus. I think he’ll answer it that way, too. Equally as disappointing as that, throwing the ball away instead of trying to pull that thing back on the third down. You run another 40 seconds plus the punt, then you get another eight left maybe, instead of a minute 45. Two back-to-back plays, both of us. They aren’t good enough. I don’t know if you could say good, they are terrible and that’s what is disappointing. We could have overcome the penalties. We could have overcome the turnovers if we just finished the game the right way. We didn’t. We let it compound and we did some other things.”

On battling Broncos CB Chris Harris Jr.:

“He’s a really good corner. I have a lot of respect for Chris. We’ve had some good games. He obviously had a really good play with that early interception. He contested a lot of balls, but I think while having respect for him, there’s a difference in respect and fear. I feel like, I’ve heard Chris say he respects us and [Chargers WR] Keenan [Allen] and myself, but he doesn’t fear us either. I think there’s that mutual respect and competitiveness. We love to go after it with one another. Obviously, he had the one interception, made a great play. We made some plays on him and we didn’t. Chris is a heck of a player.”

On the audible at the play at the very end:

“Yeah, we had this play at man coverage. We had something on that that was okay versus the coverage. I could have just left it and dropped back and tried to convert it. I went with the screen, just with what they were doing, I felt the guys were going to kind of soft belt Keenan and the it was safe to get to his hands and then see what happens. It’s kind of a little bit of a dressed up running play, and Von [Miller], he sniffed it out again. He felt it again and made a good play and then I didn’t want to fool with it after the result that happened earlier in the game. Obviously, reaction there, I would love to pull that thing back and let it run, but I didn’t.”

On the decision to not take a sack on third down of the last Chargers offensive series:

“Well, I knew that when we were going out on the field, [that I should] take the sack [in that situation]. If you don't like anything, take the sack and run the time off. When you're in a screen, it's one of those 'catch it and throw it' [plays]. I'm not looking for any excuses, I need to pull the ball back [in] and take the sack, or find a way to complete [the pass]. We shouldn't have been in that situation. It should've been about 33-7 at that point. It would've been had we not thrown the other interception. But, we didn't. So, they found a way to win. We move on at 7-3 and [will] find a way to get ready for the [Arizona] Cardinals.”

On the interception thrown to Broncos OLB Von Miller:

“He felt it. He felt the screen. If I would have found a way to make a better throw and get it around there [to RB Melvin Gordon III] somehow, it's probably a touchdown. [Denver] had a pressure [defensive play] called - [DE Von Miller] was a part of the pressure that was coming. So, it was really the perfect call [against us]. He felt it and I was trying to find a way to get [the pass] around [Miller], and obviously didn't do that. He made a heck of a play. I think I've said that now, for however many years he's been in [the NFL] since 2011. Once you figure out the player he is - he's the guy that can change the entire game. He did that today, I thought. Not by his pass rush - but his smarts. Obviously his instincts, [as well as] ability. Not from sack-fumbles that we've seen [from Miller in the past]. Moreso, just the savviness and showing the type of football player that he is. I think that's what takes guys to new levels - when they're physically gifted as anyone, work at it, and are smart. That takes someone to a whole new level.”

On any takeaways from the loss that will help refocus the team moving forward:

“I think it's just a chance to reset. I guess refocus can be said. But when you say refocus, that means you lost focus. But then, you can say that maybe [we] lose focus [today] with the penalties, the turnovers, the [miscommunications], and to not throw the ball away and manage the clock. But at the same time, I thought we had a great week of practice. So, I don't think there was any falloff from our approach to the game, yet we had those mistakes. It can be reminder that can help us, hopefully, without any awful consequences on the backend [of the season]. We need to get ready for an Arizona team coming here in a hurry and see if we can back on the right track.”

On the game plan against Denver:

“Well, we wanted to have a nice balance. I mean, there was [thought] that we had up [what we needed] to [win]. [Denver] played the run well a few times early in the game. But, they were able to still get back in a rhythm and have success running the ball. But then, we got behind the sticks a few times with getting [those] penalties. I thought we had a good plan. When you look at third downs and yards [gained], you can [say] 'Man, the Chargers offense had a heck of a day.' But, we didn't finish with touchdowns and we turned it over twice. We also botched the game there at the end with having a chance there to finish it [off]. That's why the stat sheet doesn't tell the whole story [of the game].”

On TE Antonio Gates:

“He had a heck of a day. Heck of a day. I can't say that I saw it coming in the sense that he was going to be targeted that much. But at the same time, we know that getting him back [this season], he's in this for the long haul. So, when we get in the game like this where [Denver] is doing some things to our receivers and you have him singled up [on man-to-man coverage], then he's doing to get some opportunities. He did a heck of a job. Obviously, three huge third down [conversions] come to mind. Obviously, the touchdown catch. He did a nice job and it was good to have him be such a [big] part of it again. I know it was important for him. But again, it's not fun when it ends like this. It just puts a damper on all of those things.”

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