Chargers happy with 3-1, even if others are not
SAN DIEGO - Several advantages come with winning three of your first four games, something Norv Turner had never done in his previous five seasons with the Chargers.

“When you win a game, it is big because it helps you get better,” Turner said Monday after the Chargers 26-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. “It helps you practice better, as people say, your dinner tastes better, everything about it is better and the guys go out and have more energy and you practice better and it helps you improve.”

Even with a 3-1 record and a first place standing in the AFC West, some people outside Chargers Park choose to focus on the fact that the Chargers’ wins have come against opponents with a combined 1-11 record. Coach Turner doesn't want to hear any of that.

“It's important for me to not let our guys get beat down by people with different expectations about us, or wrong expectations about us,” Turner said. “I know our team, I know who we are and I know what we need to do.”

The Chargers have won despite playing without several starters including safety Bob Sanders (out for the season with a knee injury), defensive end Luis Castillo (broken leg) and tight end Antonio Gates (foot). As the personnel looks different, so does the way the Chargers have won.

“It's funny because you are used to seeing us scoring 40-50 points per game, but still losing 44-43 or something like that,” said Chargers’ tight end Randy McMichael. “Now, we're in the mid-20's but we're still winning games because we're finding a way, converting on third downs and possessing the ball for a long time, so we're doing the things we need to do right now.”

In previous seasons, the Chargers built a reputation of big plays and big disappointments. Other than Vincent Jackson's amazing 55-yard touchdown Sunday, the Chargers haven't put up many big plays in 2011.

So perhaps they've formed a new identity.

“I think this is a hard-nosed grind it out find ways to win team,” said safety Eric Weddle. “We're going to fight to the finish. We're going to believe in each other.

“Do you have the resiliency, do you have the character, do you have the toughness to grind it out and win the game?”

For three of the Chargers first four games, the answer is yes.

Several advantages come with winning three of your first four games, something Norv Turner had never done in his previous five seasons with the Chargers.

“When you win a game, it is big because it helps you get better,” Turner said Monday after the Chargers 26-16 win over the Miami Dolphins. “It helps you practice better, as people say, your dinner tastes better, everything about it is better and the guys go out and have more energy and you practice better and it helps you improve.”

Even with a 3-1 record and a first place standing in the AFC West, some people outside Chargers Park choose to focus on the fact that the Chargers’ wins have come against opponents with a combined 1-11 record. Coach Turner doesn't want to hear any of that.

“It's important for me to not let our guys get beat down by people with different expectations about us, or wrong expectations about us,” Turner said. “I know our team, I know who we are and I know what we need to do.”

The Chargers have won despite playing without several starters including safety Bob Sanders (out for the season with a knee injury), defensive end Luis Castillo (broken leg) and tight end Antonio Gates (foot). As the personnel looks different, so does the way the Chargers have won.

“It's funny because you are used to seeing us scoring 40-50 points per game, but still losing 44-43 or something like that,” said Chargers’ tight end Randy McMichael. “Now, we're in the mid-20's but we're still winning games because we're finding a way, converting on third downs and possessing the ball for a long time, so we're doing the things we need to do right now.”

In previous seasons, the Chargers built a reputation of big plays and big disappointments. Other than Vincent Jackson's amazing 55-yard touchdown Sunday, the Chargers haven't put up many big plays in 2011.

So perhaps they've formed a new identity.

“I think this is a hard-nosed grind it out find ways to win team,” said safety Eric Weddle. “We're going to fight to the finish. We're going to believe in each other.

“Do you have the resiliency, do you have the character, do you have the toughness to grind it out and win the game?”