JOE’S CORNER: WILL THE CHARGERS MAKE PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR?
As the 2014 NFL Season starts closing in, football fans all across the world are starting to make their predictions on stats, wins/losses and what teams will end up making playoffs and who will win the next Super Bowl in 2015.
The golden question for the San Diego Chargers is the following, “Will they make playoffs this season?”
There’s no question that the Bolts had a good season in 2013, which included the following: Career numbers for players like Ryan Mathews and Philip Rivers, to outstanding debut seasons from Keenan Allen and DJ Fluker, to name a few. The now sophomore duo of Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy had a strong “freshman” performance. The pressure is on for the entire administration and the starting team that’ll hit the field this season to showcase another winning season.
So, will the Chargers make the playoffs this year? The answer is:
Time Will Tell
Let’s face it, we can all make our predictions, based on stats, previous seasons, and the overall chemistry that the team has, but when it comes to the actual games, it’s all one unpredictable scenario.
I was actually working on a piece to relate the World Cup to the NFL season, but I couldn’t find a way to relate it, until right now. For the people who saw the World Cup, you can agree that every match was extremely unpredictable. You had the top teams being destroyed or clawing their way to another round, while underdog teams who were celebrating their first time in the Round of 16 or Quarterfinals were also delivering the goods.
In terms of the NFL season and the Chargers, there were games where the team was the top dog and we ended up losing (Redskins, Titans, Texans), basically games that we were supposed to win, while there were other games (Broncos Week 15, Cincinnati Wild Card) where we were the obvious underdog, and clawed our way in to prove that we were a force to be reckoned with. To sum it up, all games will be unpredictable.
Even looking at the schedule currently we have games that we can predict will probably be easy games: Buffalo, Jacksonville, Raiders (had to do it) and other games that will be extremely difficult (Seattle, Denver, New England). The unpredictability of the sport is one that can have us celebrating a playoff win, or even a Super Bowl win, or can have us missing the glory altogether.
So what do the Chargers need to make playoffs this year?
- Confidence, in themselves as a team, as individual players; Have trust in each other.
- If they have an open opportunity to make a game-changing moment, go for it.
- Respect their opponent. Yes, even our division rivals. We all know it can get a little intense sometimes, but it’s important to stay humble and respect the overall outcome of the game, win or lose. The Bolts must never take any opponent lightly.
Now, for my prediction, will they make the playoffs this year and hopefully give us a Super Bowl win?
I’m being optimistic on this, but I’m gonna say YES. This looks like a very solid team, we have great key players both on the Offensive line and the Defensive line. Some of the offseason workouts we’ve seen have been very good and have gotten great reception from the Charger administration and the press.
Our starter QB Philip Rivers was close to reaching career-high stats last season, so we know he’s not slowing down one bit. Previous rookies like Keenan Allen, DJ Fluker and Manti Te’o delivered solid debut seasons. I have no doubt they’ll deliver outstanding sophomore years.
We also have the newly drafted players who seem to be extremely promising: Jason Verrett, Jerry Attaochu, Chris Watt, Ryan Carrethers, Marion Grice and Tevin Reese. Plus, the addition of CB Brandon Flowers to the roster has gotten a huge “thumbs up” from the press and Bolt-fanatics. San Diego has a very good series of games this season, with some tough opponents. The best we can do as fans is to support the team with our heart and soul every week and every single time they hit the field, and show that you are indeed #ChargerFamily…. I know I will.
Anyway, that’s all for now and thanks for reading.
José “Joe” Martinez
@ JoeLovesMusic24 TWITTER
The 2014 NFL regular season is fast approaching and it is time to get revved up about the team General Manager Tom Telesco is assembling in America’s Finest City. Head Coach Mike McCoy and the rest of his coaching staff turned a team with a below average roster (thanks A.J. Smith!) into a playoff team in his rookie year at the helm. Now that Telesco and McCoy have had another offseason to bolster the roster (Jason Verrett, Jeremiah Attaochu, Donald Brown and others) and cut loose some dead weight (Derek Cox, Le’Ron McClain, Johnny Patrick and others), the team is beginning to take the shape envisioned by the current Bolts brass. It is a very exciting time to be a San Diego Chargers fan! That being said, I humbly submit my 2014 season record prediction. I present it in a week by week format and include a thought or two regarding the pick. Enjoy!
Week 1: Chargers at Cardinals
WIN … The Cardinals are an improving team with nice talent in spots, but I believe that our Bolts are deeper and more explosive at this point. We’ll get the season off to a good start in Phoenix.
Week 2: Seahawks at Chargers (1-0)
LOSS … This game will be a nice measuring stick for us. How well do we match up against the elite teams in the league? Well, the answer for now at least, will be not well enough.
Week 3: Chargers (1-1) at Bills
WIN … We’ll squeak out a win in Buffalo in a knock-down, drag-out street-fight type of game. Bills LB Kiko Alonso is a beast and will give us fits. Should be a nail-biter…
Week 4: Jaguars at Chargers (2-1)
WIN … This will be fun. Jaguar rookie QB Blake Bortles will get acquainted with Dwight Freeney early and often. This one shouldn’t be close.
Week 5: Jets at Chargers (3-1)
WIN … Historically, the Jets usually provide a tough matchup for us. It’ll be close for a half, but the Bolts pull away in the 3rd quarter and don’t look back.
Week 6: Chargers (4-1) at Raiders
WIN … The winning streak continues at the dreaded Black Hole. Looking to avenge our loss in Oakland last season, Rivers will torch the silver & black for over 400 yards! Let’s hope D.J. Fluker choke slams at least one Raider before the game ends.
Week 7: Chiefs at Chargers (5-1)
WIN … In a back and forth slugfest, having he home field advantage get the Bolts over the top. This one goes down to the wire as Nick Novak hits a long field goal in the final minute to seal the victory.
Week 8: Chargers (6-1) at Broncos
LOSS … Despite a valiant effort by Philip Rivers, the Broncos have just too much firepower to overcome. Oh, and the fact that the Bronco CBs can basically mug our WRs without ever getting flagged for it…
Week 9: Chargers (6-2) at Dolphins
WIN … Mike McCoy regroups his squad and the Bolts bounce back with a surprisingly easy win in Miami. They head into the bye week with a solid 7-2 record! Nice!!
Week 10: bye.
Week 11: Raiders at Chargers (7-2)
WIN … The Chargers complete the season sweep of the hated Raiders, albeit in close fashion, with a 7 point victory. Great way to get going after the bye week!
Week 12: Rams at Chargers (8-2)
LOSS … This is the definition of a trap game. Coming off an emotional win over a despised rival, the Bolts have the Ravens, Patriots, Broncos and Niners lying immediately ahead of them. The chances of looking past St. Louis are high. The Rams will be a much improved team this season. They get caught napping and drop a game they should’ve won. 🙁
Week 13: Chargers (8-3) at Ravens
LOSS … Still stinging from the Rams defeat, the Bolts come out flat on the road. Rivers presses, trying to get the Bolts back in it, and throws multiple picks. Bad day.
Week 13: Patriots at Chargers (8-4)
LOSS … The Bolts are always hyped for this matchup. Lots of bad blood between the two teams. I expect the Chargers to come out like gangbusters and jump out to a big lead…only to watch the game slip away in the second half. My blood boils. That’s three losses in a row.
Week 14: Broncos at Chargers (8-5)
WIN … McCoy’s familiarity with the Bronco offense comes in very handy once again as the Bolts make Peyton Manning’s life difficult in sunny San Diego. Manning is sacked multiple times and throws a couple picks- one of which is returned for 6 by rookie Jason Verrett! The stadium has a playoff like atmosphere that Rivers later credits for the win.
Week 15: Chargers (9-5) at 49ers
LOSS … The Bolts inability to establish any kind of running game sets up Rivers to struggle. The Niners take advantage of the plethora of known passing situations to frustrate Rivers, causing him to post his lowest QB rating of the season. It’ll be best to just put this one out of our memory and gear up for the season finale against Kansas City…
Week 16: Chargers (9-6) at Chiefs
WIN … Just like last season, the Bolts will need this win to secure a post-season berth. Just like last season, they will beat the Chiefs to make the playoffs! This time, however, they’ll beat the Kansas City starters…
Final record: 10-6
The Chargers earn a Wildcard berth and enter the playoffs as the team that all the “experts” say don’t stand a chance to make it to the Super Bowl. (I guess some things will never change.) Upon arriving back in San Diego after their flight from Kansas City, the Chargers are greeted by thousands of adoring fans. A reporter stops Rivers and asks, “How does this feel right now?” Philip coyly smiles and replies, “We love our fans for being there for us. It feels great every single time. But honestly, we still got work to do. Ask me how it feels after we get back from winning the Super Bowl.” Reporter Booga Peters replies, “I will.”
Five weeks later, he does.
– Coach Rogers