Philip Rivers. File photo courtesy of the Chargers

The Chargers will face the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday at StubHub Center, trying to avoid their first 0-4 start since 2003 when they lost their first five games en route to a 4-12 season.

After losing their first two games by a total of five points, the Chargers are coming off a 24-10 loss to Kansas City last Sunday, where the Chiefs turned three first-half interceptions thrown by Philip Rivers into 17 points.

“The way we lost the first two and then last week, it can cause you to go, ‘Oh shoot, are we ever going to win one?” Rivers said.

“In a way you can say we’re struggling because we are 0-3 and we’re not averaging that many points, but if you watch each play as its own play … you see a lot of good things,” although “none of us in here are sitting there and going `We’re doing a lot of good things’ and feel good about that,” Rivers said.

The Chargers are tied for 26th in the 32-team league in scoring, averaging 16 points per game, 28th in rushing, averaging 70.7 yards per game, and 11th in passing, averaging 244.7 yards per game.

Rivers said he keeps telling his teammates “let’s win a football game and then I think we have the capabilities of going on a run, but we got to win one first.”

“Seems like years past … when being put in situations like this … we play our best when we’re a little bit backs against the wall and a little bit nothing to lose,” said Rivers, who is in his 14th season with the Chargers.

“Don’t worry about the 0-3, don’t worry about what the percentages are of teams that bounce back, don’t worry about the other teams in the division, just go play, find a way to win a game and hopefully we can start a little bit of a run.”

Chargers first-year coach Anthony Lynn said the team has “to play smarter, learn from our mistakes and continue to work the way we’re working.”

“I’m very confident this team is going to turn around,” Lynn said.

The Chargers worked on techniques and fundamentals in their three practices leading up to Sunday’s game, including emphasizing eliminating penalties on special teams, Lynn said.

“It’s the little things we have to continue to improve on,” Lynn said.

The Eagles (2-1) are 10th in the league in scoring, averaging 25.7 points per game, ninth in rushing, averaging 119.3 yards per game, and 10th in passing, averaging 252.7 yards per game. Philadelphia leads the league in time of possession, averaging 34 minutes, 12 seconds per game, and in plays with 10 or more yards, 53.

The Eagles have also lost to Kansas City, falling 27-20 on Sept. 17.

Philadelphia’s roster includes receiver Nelson Agholor, a USC alumnus, and linebacker Joe Walker, a former Palos Verdes High standout.

The Chargers will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during the game. The national anthem will be performed by the genre-bending rock band The Last Bandoleros.

The El Rancho High School Marching Dons will perform the field show “Tribal Affect” at halftime, which will reflect tribal energy and ideologies and create a sense of community and the coming together of cultures, ideas, education and traditions, a team official said.

An NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award will be presented to Cynthia Telles, the director of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute Spanish-speaking Psychosocial Clinic.

–City News Service

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