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Slumping Chargers relish weekend away from football grind

If there's any upside to losing your fourth straight game while letting the AFC West slip through your fingers, the Chargers have found it.

A weekend away.

Some time to get their heads straight after a monthlong, wild spiral that started with the team at 4-1 and ended with Thursday's disturbing loss to Oakland, dropping San Diego to 4-5, a game behind the first-place Raiders.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers shifted into spin mode following the loss.

"It's been worse," Rivers told NBC San Diego. "I feel like a broken record for saying it, but we're 4-5. It's been worse than this before."

Actually, it has been this bad, but not worse. At least not under Rivers. Measuring the win-loss records alone, Rivers' teams have started 4-5 three times since 2006, including this season:

» 2010: 4-5 (finished second in the AFC West at 9-7)
» 2009: 6-3 (finished first at 13-3)
» 2008: 4-5 (finished first at 8-8)
» 2007: 5-4 (finished first at 11-5)
» 2006: 7-2 (finished first at 14-2)

The Chargers have made it a habit of heating up down the stretch, but nothing about this team screams that a massive turnaround is in the mail.

This group of players will gather Monday to reboot a machine that's running on fumes, but first on tap: a free Sunday to do something other than frustrate the greater San Diego area.

"I'm going to get away. Get away from football for a minute," cornerback Quentin Jammer said after relinquishing two touchdowns Thursday. "After a performance like that, you kind of have to regroup. That's what I'll do. ... That's as bad as I could have played in 10 years. I put it out there. Now teams think they are going to beat me. It's not going to happen."

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