Chris Harris Jr. is looking forward to Sunday.
Yeah, he knows Philip Rivers is a whiner (I mean, who doesn’t?) but he also knows Philip Rivers.
As in, knows how he plays, knows how he thinks, knows how he does everything he can to win.
And that’s why Harris Jr. likes to play against him.
“It’s just fun, just football,” he said Wednesday. “It’s a rival game, a division game, and you want to beat him. That’s just what it is. You know he wants to beat you bad and he’s probably drawing up something for me right now just to get me (laughter). I’ve got to be ready for anything.”
Being ready for anything this season with Rivers means being ready for a college-style offense - just like with so many other NFL teams.
“They’re running the football, they’re taking ownership. Giving [Melvin] Gordon [III] the ball and riding him,” Harris Jr. said, joking that the Chargers have “adopted the college offense like everybody else (laughter) with tons of jet sweeps, tons of motions, some sprinkles of RPOs, little sprinkles because he can’t really run the ball. They’re trying to do it.”
And so far this season the trial has equaled great success. The Chargers have a 7-2 record while their quarterback has had a QB rating over 100 every week this season, and the Rivers’ TD:INT ratio is pretty damn impressive - 21 touchdowns to 4 interceptions.
But he’s still a whiner, and that means he’s one of the QBs that rival fan bases love to hate.
Also because he’s good.
“He does whine a lot, he does,” Harris Jr. laughed. “I can play with him. Just because you know he’s going to do whatever he can to try to wheel his team. Try to get every call from the ref. That’s just how Rivers is. He’s going to be screaming at the refs just as much as we are during the game.”
In fact, Rivers, despite never cursing, also never lets up - making him one of the best smack talkers in the business, according to Harris Jr.
“He might be the only quarterback that truly talks smack the whole game,” he said. “So, I think so, yeah.”But Harris Jr. knows it’s not a joke when it comes to Rivers’ pre-snap abilities to neutralize a defense.
“It’s before the play. It’s before the play even happens. The way he dissects the defense and what we’re doing. We have to be very — we can’t be sitting ducks this week. We can’t be stagnant,” Harris Jr. said. “We have to move. We have to try to confuse him.”
Chris Harris: “I’m excited to play Rivers because he always gives me a chance. I know Phillip is gonna let me play ball.”— Ryan Koenigsberg (@RyanKoenigsberg) November 14, 2018
In fact, “confusing him” will allow Von Miller and Bradley Chubb to work their duo dynamite and get after Rivers - something he definitely does not want.
Miller always seems to have a good day when he’s playing Rivers, logging 15 career sacks against the Chargers, more than against any other team. And in their last meeting, Miller posted two sacks, two QB hits, five tackles plus two tackles for loss.
But for another day like that, Harris Jr. and his secondary need to be on point.
“It’s no different than when you play a guy like Peyton [Manning],” Harris Jr. recalled. “A guy that understands everything that you do defensively. We can’t be sitting ducks. So, we have to move around and make it hard for him.”
Perhaps Harris Jr. - who has three career interceptions against Rivers - will even get No. 17 to curse on Sunday.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard him curse. No, he doesn’t. But it’s fun though. I just tell him that ‘I’ll try to get you again,’” the cornerback said. “He’s always happy to try to get me whenever he can. But I’m going to try to make him pay.”
Horse Tracks - docllv’s pick of the day
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Philip Rivers: Von Miller is a 'Defensive Player of the Year-type guy'
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Broncos notes: Harris says even Rivers running college offense | 9news.com
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Teammates picked up some brand new cleats and a personalized mix tape.
NFL flexes two games to 'SNF' in Weeks 13-14 - NFL.com
The NFL on Wednesday announced two schedule changes that will feature marquee matchups on "Sunday Night Football" in the coming weeks.
Chargers' Joey Bosa (foot) to practice on limited basis - NFL.com
The Chargers' Joey Bosa is working his way back to the playing field, one practice at a time. Head coach Anthony Lynn said Bosa (hip), who's been sidelined all season, will begin practicing again in a limited capacity.
Chargers sign LB Tre’Von Johnson, place Denzel Perryman on IR - Bolts From The Blue
With starting inside linebacker Denzel Perryman lost for the season, the Chargers needed to make a roster move. That move has been made in the form of Tre’Von Johnson.
Joey Bosa’s status: It’s do or die time on Joey Bosa’s status - Bolts From The Blue
The Los Angeles Chargers can’t seem ever to catch a break. While Anthony Lynn’s offense is thriving under a rejuvenated Philip Rivers, the defense just hasn’t been able to remain at the same level.
LB Jatavis Brown makes PFF’s week 10 Team of the Week - Bolts From The Blue
Following a performance that saw LB Jatavis Brown flying all over the field, the third-year linebacker out of the University of Akron collected the highest grade by a Chargers player in week 10.