After the victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, two phrases are prominent when describing the San Diego Chargers, and it’s either, “this team is playing loose,” or “they’re playing with house money.”
Mike McCoy has the Chargers believing in the “us against the world” mentality. Philip Rivers has been wearing an Hoosiers sweatshirt during press conferences at Chargers Park, probably in reference to the 1986 film featuring Gene Hackman and the portrayal of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team that wins the 1954 Indiana state championship.
Every team in the playoffs is looking for an edge somewhere, anywhere.
There’s no need for celebrities yet, because the Chargers have the hot-hand and Rivers has to bring it again to face off against Peyton Manning for the third time this season. Manning’s record of eight one-and-dones in the playoffs begs so many questions that will be answered on Sunday, because, for the second week in a row, the pressure is on the Chargers’ opposing quarterback to succeed.
Going into Sunday, San Diego owns a 2-0 playoff head-to-head record over the Manning-led Indianapolis Colts, and no matter the outcome, the post-game will focus on Manning’s play and not Rivers and the Chargers.
Rivers benefits from the lack of pressure, as he and the entire Chargers roster is clearly having fun playing postseason football. If that means they’re playing loose, those are just code words for “swagger.”