San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy watches from the sideline during the third quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez
August 25, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) Even though the Chargers lost their latest preseason outing, they found something to like.

The first-team offense went three series and scored the team's lone touchdown, a 10-yard reception by Antonio Gates from Philip Rivers, in a 21-7 loss Sunday to the San Francisco 49ers. San Diego's starting defense showed a spark as well, limiting the 49ers' starters to three points.

''That is the way we want to play,'' coach Mike McCoy said Monday. ''It doesn't matter what week it is, preseason, regular season, practice. That is the way we want to compete as a football team. It is all about competition.''

The Chargers complete their preseason on Thursday night hosting Arizona in the first of two straight games against the Cardinals. The teams face one another again on Sept. 8 in their regular-season opener.

Rivers is likely done for the preseason after completing 15 of 18 passes for 166 yards and a touchdown.

''Obviously, that is the way we have done it in the past (and) we are in a good spot if that is the protocol we go with and the path we take,'' Rivers said.

He said the offense is running smoothly, which is the main goal of any summer.

''Statistically, I don't think it means much in the preseason,'' Rivers said. ''But it is more about communication, the rhythm and the little things. It is more about ironing out the kinks and I believe we have done that thus far.''


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