The Los Angeles Chargers woke up to overcast skies, brisk temperatures and light rain falling outside their downtown hotel.
It was far from a picturesque Monday in Cleveland, but wide receiver Tyrell Williams found beauty in the classic fall conditions.
“There’s really no other place I’d rather be,” the fourth-year pro said. “I’m just having fun. It’s a cool experience.
“We’re on a road trip, we get to go to London and we play in the NFL. So if you’ve got complaints with that, you’ve got something wrong with you.”
Williams and the Chargers made themselves right at home on the road Sunday, blowing out the Browns 38-14 for their third straight victory.
Instead of flying back to the West Coast following the win, they will spend four more days in Northeast Ohio, preparing for their Sunday game against the Titans at Wembley Stadium in England.
Los Angeles’ team plane won’t touch down in California again until the early hours of Oct. 22.
“Being on the road for two weeks, it’s kind of cool, like this whole gladiator mentality,” said nose tackle Damion Square, who had 1½ sacks of Cleveland rookie Baker Mayfield. “You’ve got to move on the run and we’ve got things to do, but we’ve still got business to handle.”
Williams caught a pair of touchdown passes and Melvin Gordon had a career-high three rushing scores against the Browns, keeping Los Angeles as the only NFL team with three or more offensive TDs in every game this season.
Philip Rivers has 15 touchdowns to three interceptions, ranks second in the league with a 115.1 passer rating and is the main reason why the Chargers are 4-2. The only AFC team with a better record is Kansas City at 5-1.
“People see that we ran for 246 yards yesterday, but Philip is a big part of that process,” Los Angeles coach Anthony Lynn said. “First of all, he threw a number of big passes and he got us in most of those runs. Philip is a quarterback that can get you in the right front for the runs, and he does a heck of a job in the run game.”
The 36-year-old Rivers and his teammates won’t return to the practice field until Wednesday, but took part in mandatory morning meetings before breaking off into position groups.
More than a dozen players plan on using their day off to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton (an hour drive to the south), while others intend to explore the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (a mile walk to the north).
Lynn promises that the Chargers will do much more sightseeing in London later in the week.
“This can be a galvanizing experience for our football team,” the coach said. “We’re a pretty tight group, but it can definitely bring a team together even more.
“I’ll give you an example. I went out to have a steak last night and I saw all of our guys having dinner there, too. Just eating lunch and hanging out together for an entire week is a real positive thing.”
Williams noted that staying in five-star hotels with NFL-provided per diems isn’t too shabby, either.
“In college at Western Oregon, we always had long road trips, like a 28-hour bus ride to Utah and a 24-hour bus trip to Los Angeles,” he said, breaking into a smile. “I know it takes a while to get to London, but this is a little better now.”