There was a play in the first quarter of the Seattle-San Diego game Sunday where Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was given a sly shove by Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner as he went out of bounds, a shove the officials didn’t see.
Rivers, in his typical on-field demeanor, turned and gave Wagner an earful.
The message: Try that on other quarterbacks and other teams because the Chargers aren’t backing down.
And they didn’t.
San Diego went on to beat the Seahawks 30-21 and did it like few expected, which is to move the football consistently against a defense that some were saying might be the best ever after their season-opening domination of the Green Bay Packers.
The Chargers dominated all the numbers. They had 26 first downs to 14 for Seattle, controlled the time of possession — which Seattle usually does — 42:15 to 17:45 and limited Marshawn Lynch to 35 yards on six carries.
Beast Mode was Least Mode.
Take away a 51-yard touchdown run by Percy Harvin, which should have been shorter and a non-score since he stepped out of bounds, and Seattle had 12 rushes for 51 yards, and that included 18 yards on two scrambles by Russell Wilson.
Rivers threw three touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and made it feel like the old days, showing that both can still get it done.
The Chargers also threw at Seattle’s top cover corner Richard Sherman, which Green Bay avoided in Week 1. That’s smart. Keenan Allen caught a few passes against Sherman, nothing huge, but they did attack him some, even if they didn’t expose him as some Chargers said they did.
Going at Sherman is how Rivers ticks. He is as fierce a competitor as there is at quarterback and the Chargers take on his persona. Were it not for a fourth-quarter collapse at Arizona, the Chargers would be 2-0 heading to Buffalo next week.