Rivers on Heading into the Playoffs

QB Philip Rivers Postgame Press Confernce vs Denver Broncos.

Chargers veteran QB Philip Rivers talks with the media after the Bolts' Week 17 victory over the Denver Broncos.

On the Chargers’ 12th win today

“It’s hard to do. It’s hard to win 12 games. All the ones outside of our stadium, we won. This year, this organization, we haven’t won 12 games since 2009, so that’s a heck of a stretch. It’s tough. I thought it was great the way we won today. The defense was unbelievable getting me turnovers, scored nine points. We found a way in a circumstance that was a little weird as the game went knowing that the actual outcome wasn’t going to affect where we went the following week or where we didn’t go. The guys hung in there and found a way to get our 12th win.”

On if the Chargers had extra motivation given their impending playoff berth

“I think you do. I think it’s just human nature. I’m excited for this team and to have another opportunity. I think every year when the season ends, you always reflect in the years where you don’t get in and your early on emotions and reaction are disappointment and really just kind of sick that you didn’t give yourself a chance at the postseason. So now that we’ve given ourselves a chance, I think it’s to embrace it, enjoy it and go fight like heck and see what happens. There will be, what, four teams with a bye, so I don’t know what their practice schedule will be like, but there will be eight teams practicing this week in the league and there are 20 that are at home. We’ve been part of that 20 a handful of times, many times, so I think we’re excited to be going into January and have a chance. That’s all you can ask for. And that’s a tough opponent (the Ravens) that we played just a short week ago.”

On playing the Ravens in the AFC Wild Card playoffs next week

“It’s a heck of a challenge. I don’t think there was a really a team that wasn’t going to be a heck of a challenge. To get to this point, there are only 12 teams in. Again, this first weekend where eight teams are playing and they’re all good. That’s a team that out-played last week. It’ll be a new game, new everything and we’ll see who can play the best this time through.”

On what the Chargers will take away from their 22-10 loss to the Ravens in Week 16

“I think probably both teams will tell you from a preparation standpoint, it’s kind of fresh. From the standpoint of how you prepared and what they did and what they didn’t do and what they had done the whole season. I think both teams will probably tell you that. There’s certainly not an advantage, either way. It absolutely will be interesting; a little bit of an extension to that first game to see the counter moves -- a long halftime -- to see what the counters are and kind of how this game gets going, what the strategies are on both sides.”

On the mentality of being a leader for a playoff team

“I think from a belief standpoint, first, you’ve got to believe you can win in any situation, any circumstance, any type of game, and I think we’ve done that. We did it again today. We did it in those games you mentioned, whether it’d be the defense getting a big stop to win or our offense driving and scoring late to win. Kind of leaning on each other, picking each other up when you’re not great on one side of the ball. We haven’t been, we weren’t today, by any means. We ended up running for 100 yards and capitalizing on some turnovers, but we weren’t playing very well. But we found a way to win. And I think that’s the thing with the game, especially in the postseason. It’s always the end of the game. In the postseason, it’s just find a way to win. Nobody cares how. It’s just find a way to advance.”

On if he expects the Chargers can overcome their Week 16 loss to the Ravens next week

“We’ll find out. I’ll let you know about whatever time Saturday evening or Sunday evening.”

On the Chargers’ defense

“They’ve had some big-time plays, big-time stops in key moments. I think it’s just the collective group effort for so many guys. There’s not one strength here or there or just a couple of big-time players. It’s a collective, group effort that finds a way to get it done. They play well together. They expect to get stops. Every time they go out there, they expect to get a stop. I think just like we expect to score. We know that’s not going to happen every time. But I think when you have that expectation that we’ve set for ourselves, then you can make those kind of plays when you need to.”

On the need for him to reduce turnovers after throwing six interceptions his last three games

“Just keep playing. Like I told you, stats, you can read however you want to read. You can go the last couple of weeks or the last 16 games. You can go the last 208 games. You can make that picture paint however. Every game is new. I’ve turned it over, what, 12 times? I don’t know if I had a fumble this year or what. It’s a new week, new game and I’ll find a way to protect the football and make some plays and go score more points. Ten is what we scored on them [the Ravens] last time and that was seven off of a short field, so we’re going to have to find a way to score more points.”

On the Chargers’ recent offensive struggles

“It’s not as good as we want to play. But again, I don’t see any pattern. I don’t really buy into pattern or momentums in the games. It hasn’t been as good. I think you look at our collective body of work this year and it’s been good enough to win 12 games. I think we’re a 12-win offense. I think we’re a 12-win defense, 12-win special teams. I mean, that’s what we were. We’ll see now we’re all even. We’ll see if we’re a one-win playoff team and then we’ll worry about another one later.”

On if he and the Chargers put a premium on offensive efficiency

“It does. It really does. I think that there’s a fine line between paralyzing yourself with that thought but then the reality of it that, hey, every possession is critical. Just because of the style of offense that they (the Ravens) are playing and the success they’re having and even if you’re playing good defense and they go three and four and three, that’s another first down. And then they’re out there another minute and a half before the next set of downs. So it is important and I thought our defense the last time we played them did a heck of a job. I mean, before the turnover, they’re at 16 [points] with a chance to win. Again, we had some other opportunities offensively that we didn’t take advantage of ... I think when the other team scores 16, at least offensively, we should never lose ever. That hasn’t been the case throughout my whole career. That’s kind of how I’ve always thought. And that happened, what, eight days ago, seven days ago, it didn’t. So definitely feel like we’re responsible for that one a few weeks ago. But again, it’s a new start, new game. The score will be 0-0.”

On how the Chargers have been able to avoid a two-game losing streak all season

“I think, again, we do have a tough group, a resilient group, and all of those words that you hear that become cliché I guess. I do think that we have a group of guys that stay hungry and stay after it every week no matter what. I think that starts with him [Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn] and his demeanor and his message after those games we’ve lost. There’s no panic. It’s just, ‘Let’s go. Let’s bounce back and go win.’ We’ve been able to do that and when you win 12, that’s a heck of a year. But I think we all know, it seems the obvious, but it’s all zero now. Everything is zero and who can play the best for this first four quarters, and whoever does that will win and get a chance to get four more quarters. I don’t think you look at it big picture, although we know that big picture is you win four football games, but you’ve got to win one before you can even think about the next one.”

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