| | Chargers Playing Starters, Broncos Resting Some of Theirs
In a game that means nothing for either team, the San Diego Chargers are playing to win, while the Denver Broncos will be playing not to get hurt. The Broncos are resting many regulars including running back Mike Anderson. The Chargers are playing all of their starters and the betting line reflects that fact, as the Chargers are huge 9 point home favorites.
"We will play everybody that is healthy enough to play. Our starters will start, our starters will play, because we have one objective, and that is to get to 10-6," coach Marty Schottenheimer said Monday.
"There's a difference between preseason and regular season, in my view. Ours is about winning football games ... and 10-6 just sounds a lot better to me than 9-7."
The Chargers will wait until the postseason to decide what to do with their quarterback surplus. Brees, who's led the Chargers to 21 wins in two seasons, is finishing an $8 million, one-year contract as the team's "franchise" player. Rivers has four years left on his deal, which he signed too late in training camp in 2004 to compete with Brees for the starting job. "We're playing a division opponent, a team we split with a year ago," Schottenheimer said. "I understand those that might say, 'Well, you know, play Philip,' and all, but that's not the way the National Football League, in my view, is set up. Our goal is to get our 10th victory."
"I don't know that we've played as poorly in a game as we did the game the other day, in the last couple of years," Schottenheimer said. LaDainian Tomlinson has been held without a touchdown and under 100 yards the last four games. "We're not giving him enough room, frankly," Schottenheimer said. "We haven't run the ball as efficiently as Marty Schottenheimer would like to run the ball."
Schottenheimer still thinks the Chargers are better than a year ago, when they were 12-4. "I said, and maybe it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I made the statement before our season began, that I believed and was confident we were a better team, but we might not have as good a record," Schottenheimer said. "Maybe I shouldn't have said that."