The Chargers lost their Divisional Round game in Denver as we all know. They were out played and out coached in all aspects of the game, losing 24-17. The game wasn’t as close as the score might imply.
I’m not going to get into the game here, and why I think they lost.
Even though the season is now over for our Chargers, let’s not forget they exceeded most expectations. I know a lot of people, myself included, who never expected to see Charger football continue into January. From that standpoint, let’s consider this season, the first under Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy a success.
Telesco and McCoy took over a royal mess from A.J. Smith and Norv Turner. They turned over half the roster and got younger at most positions. They made tough decisions like cutting ties with Jared Gaither. They had very little salary cap space to work within.
Overall, their top three draft choices paid dividends, especially Keenan Allen whom they STOLE in the THIRD ROUND. He broke John Jefferson’s record for most receiving yards by a rookie at 1,046. He spent the better part of the first two games on the sidelines until Malcolm Floyd got hurt. For the most part, D.J. Fluker and Mantei Te’o held their own, steadily improving week after week.
Philip Rivers looked like the Rivers of old, throwing for 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns against only 11 interceptions. Ryan Mathews came into his own this year as well. Mathews ran for 1,255 yards, topping his previous high of 1,091 yards in 2011. More importantly, he fumbled only twice and only one resulted in a change of possession. He also toughed out an ankle injury that didn’t sideline him until the Cincinnati and Denver playoff games.
Given the success the team had this year, with all the holes they had, this offseason is going to be exciting. I look for Telesco and McCoy to be far more aggressive in free agency this winter and spring. I look for our Bolts to rebound from the disappointing loss in Denver and come back in 2014 contending for the division title and a deep run into the post season.