Sunday: 3:05 p.m. at Dignity Health Sports Park (Ch. 4, 100.3 FM)
ABOUT THE CHARGERS
• Los Angeles (5-8) ended a three-game skid with a 45-10 shellacking of the Jaguars in Jacksonville. RB Austin Ekeler needed just 12 touches to eclipse 100 yards both rushing and receiving, breaking an NFL record held by Herschel Walker. He needed 15 touches in 1986.
• L.A.’s defense, which returned safety Derwin James to the lineup two weeks ago, has kept opponents under 201 passing yards in nine of 13 games this season. The Chargers defense ranks fourth in yards allowed and eighth in points allowed.
• WR Keenan Allen is 53 yards from his third straight 1,000-yard season as QB Philip Rivers’ clear No. 1 target. Allen has 49 more targets than the next Chargers receiver, Mike Williams.
• All eight of the Chargers losses have come by one score or less; two wins were against the Packers and the Bears. Undercutting the Chargers is a minus-10 turnover differential, better than only the Bengals (-11), Giants (-13) and Dolphins (-14).
Player to watch | QB Philip Rivers
• Rivers is set to make his NFL-leading 222nd consecutive regular-season start, a streak that started in 2006 in his third season.
• Now in his 16th NFL season, Rivers is as volatile as ever in a talented offense. He’s taken plenty of chances on his way to 20 passing TDs and 15 interceptions. Rivers, according to NFL Media, was reportedly close to being benched last month for Tyrod Taylor before his recently improved play.
• Chargers coach Anthony Lynn: “He’s made some throws he’d love to have back, but he’s also made a lot of good throws this year. He’s put us in position to win some games … he’s our starting quarterback.”
• Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: “He’s 38 years old. He’s very, very smart. He’s always been very smart. He’s always been a great competitor. You’d think at some point the arm strength will go down a little bit, but he had a couple bombs in [Jacksonville].”
COACH SPEAK | Anthony Lynn
• Lynn is in his third season as Chargers head coach with a 26-19 record in the regular season (.578) and 1-1 in one playoff appearance.
• Lynn, 50, started his coaching career in Denver as a special teams assistant under Rick Dennison, the Vikings offensive line coach, and has worked on staffs with Gary Kubiak and Mike Zimmer.
• On being eliminated from the playoffs: “It’s been somewhat frustrating because we lost eight games by one score, but that’s in the past. All we have is what’s in front of us and that’s what we’re focused on.”
• On getting back safety Derwin James, a 2018 first-round pick: “His leadership, his spirit on the field. This guy plays with a lot of passion and is a great communicator. That’s just his intangibles. His skill is his speed, his physicality, his ability to rush the quarterback and speed things up.”