The Chargers are doing what the Chargers do best. They are making a late season run to try and get back into the playoff picture after a slow start. After starting 2-5 this season, many people were ready to write off San Diego after just seven games. Big mistake. San Diego has won four straight games since their slow start and they have put themselves right back in the playoff hunt, one game back of the AFC West leading Kansas City Chiefs. If you didn’t believe the Chargers could run the table after a couple wins a few weeks ago, how about now? How about after last night’s dismantling of the defending AFC Champs in their own house?
Philip Rivers is having an MVP season in San Diego and Mike Tolbert has been a tremendous story on offense as well, but it’s the Chargers defense that hasn’t wavered all season long. In the midst of holdouts, injuries, and even poor special teams play, San Diego has been able to hold it together throughout all of it and last night the defense made another statement against one of the game’s best quarterbacks. Led by Kevin Burnett and his pick 6, the Chargers intercepted Peyton Manning four times and gave up just 14 points to one of the most explosive offenses in the league. In the process, San Diego proved that they are a threat to any team in the AFC that has dreams of getting to Dallas.
Kevin Burnett joined XX Sports Radio in San Diego with Scott and BR to talk about his interception against Peyton Manning, what Manning said to him after the game, whether or not they are looking for revenge against the Raiders, and how nice it was to have such a good game against Colts on a national stage.
On his interception against Peyton Manning that he returned for a touchdown:
“It’s kinda one of those things where you’re trying to play smart as our coaches talk about all the time. We were in man to man on that play and I went to stay with the back, but I noticed Reggie Wayne coming so I just backed out and looked for the crosser. I don’t think Peyton ever saw me in the throwing lane. I just caught the ball and found the end zone. Being a smart player, coaches putting you in the right position, and you have to go make a play.”
On what Manning said to him after the game:
“He just told me good game. He was pretty upset which is very understandable. He’s a fierce competitor and probably the best quarterback in the league right now. He’s tired of losing. We’ve all been there. Hats off to what those guys have done, but they pay you to win in this league, they don’t care what’s going on with injuries and all that stuff.”
On whether or not they are looking for revenge against the Raiders:
“Oh you definitely are going to watch the game, but I think the tables have turned so much since that point. I don’t know if it’s a sense of payback as much as it’s a sense of let’s go win the football game. Let’s go out here and run the football, catch the football, hold onto the football, tackle well, create turnovers, sack the passer, no blocked punts, no big plays in the kicking game, other than that if we go out there and turnover the ball, get kicks blocked, and get kicks ran back, its gonna be a lot more difficult for us to pull out a victory. We have to play basic football. Move around on defense, catch the football, and not turn it over on offense and I think we’ll have a great chance of winning.”
On playing so well on a national stage against Peyton Manning:
“Everybody was texting me before the game to get another pick for a touchdown. Oddly enough I told my little brother, I said ‘I’m gonna get a pick tonight, I’m gonna score’ and it happened. Also, just being able to be on national television, I thought they were putting me on there to tell my mom happy birthday because yesterday was my mom’s birthday. Also my kids told me to score a touchdown yesterday so there was a lot going on yesterday and definitely happy birthday to my mother and I love you to my kids and my wife. It was big yesterday. I got over 50 or 60 text messages.”