SAN DIEGO (AP) - Coming off a bye has been a mixed bag for the Chargers. Since quarterback Philip Rivers became the starter in 2006, San Diego is 3-4 in games after the off week.
Last year they lost 7-6 at Cleveland in one of their worst performances of the season. The previous year, they saw a three-game winning streak end with a 27-21 loss to the Jets.
"I don't know if there's a pattern," Rivers said as he prepared to lead his team against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. "Our record is what it is. Obviously, this team right here has never had a bye. I think every one of those stands alone.
"I do think there is a real-ness to getting your mind back, focused, zero in, and not forget how hard it was to win two games in a row. Not forget what it's going to take to go to Washington and win. When you have a bye, you come in and you haven't played in a while, and everything feels good. But it's realizing how hard this challenge is going to be, and let's make sure we prepare the right way and get ready to go play."
Chargers coach Mike McCoy was encouraged with the energy in the workouts as Sunday's game got closer.
"It's been a good week," he said. "We got off to a little slow start on Wednesday at practice but as time went along we picked it up and finished strong. The last two days have been good."
But that doesn't guarantee the Chargers will claim a victory over an NFC East team for the third time this season. The Chargers have won at Philadelphia and at home against Dallas.
The Chargers, Rivers said, have to guard against losing their edge.
"I do think you have to be aware of it and not let yourself relax in even the slightest bit, because that's human nature when you haven't practiced in a few days, you hadn't played in a little bit, hadn't lost in a long time due to the week off, so you feel good," said Rivers. "But I just think we have to make sure that that's done from a mindset standpoint."
NOTES: It appears the Chargers will be without LB Donald Butler on Sunday. Butler has missed all but one play in the last two games with an injured hamstring. He didn't practice this week and is listed as doubtful for Sunday ... WR Eddie Royal (toe) also didn't work out this week and his status is questionable.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.