The Chargers have lost four of their first six games. The last two losses came at the very end of the game. The Bolts did what they needed to win three of the four games just to end up losing.
Before getting into this season, let’s look at another season that they were really good at losing.
The 2000 season!
Yes, that was the year that the Chargers went 1-15. San Diego had a horrible offense and a solid defense. The offense was “led” by Ryan Leaf, Jim Harbaugh and Moses Moreno (oh yeah, that guy). Not exactly a high-quality trio of quarterbacks. They were unable to secure wins, partially due to 30 interceptions, 53 sacks of the team’s quarterbacks, eight missed field goals and only 31 touchdowns scored.
The defense, led by the great Junior Seau and Rodney Harrison, kept them in the games with a total of 16 interceptions, 39 sacks and four touchdowns.
The Bolts had three blowouts that year, but they were never shut out. In fact, nine of their 15 losses were by 10 points or less. An even crazier stat, six of their losses were by three points or less. Let that sink in!
So here we are in 2015, and the Bolts are pretty much the exact opposite of the 2000 Chargers. They have a great passing offense, which is ranked 1st in the NFL, led by Philip Rivers and his 2,116 passing yards. While it is great that the Chargers rank first in total offense and in passing yards, they are ranked 29th in rushing. The offense is just not balanced with the lack of a good running game. Being balanced is more important than passing for a lot of yards.
The defense is also unbalanced. They have shown some good plays but also some stuff that has Chargers fans throwing their arms in the air in anger. They are ranked 14th overall thanks to their pass defense, which is ranked 7th. The rush defense, on the other hand, is ranked 29th.
So as you can see, they can’t run the ball on offense, and they can’t stop the run on defense.
The second game of the season against the Bengals was the first game of the year that the Chargers “did a good job of losing.” Keenan Allen muffed the punt return on the Bolts’ first drive which lead to a Bengals’ touchdown. Down 7-3 in the 1st quarter, the Chargers recover a fumble by running back Jeremy Hill just to have Rivers fumble the ball on 3rd and 2.
Two more opportunities were given to the Chargers with a missed field goal by Bengals’ kicker Mike Nugent and another fumble by Hill. San Diego answered those opportunities with a field goal and a missed field goal. In typical Rivers’ fashion, Philip threw 20 straight completions in an attempt to take the lead and the win. Down 19 to 24 and 1:09 left on the clock, No. 17 threw an interception to end the game in a loss.
The Chargers got beat fair and square by the Vikings, so there is no need to look at that game as a missed opportunity to secure a win. They deserved every second of that beating in Week 3.
In Week 5, the Chargers hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers at home. Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was out with a knee injury and Chargers’ tight end Antonio Gates was back after a four-game suspension. The Bolts came out strong, scoring a touchdown to No. 85 on their first drive in under three minutes.
The first half ended up being a little boring, as the Chargers kept a small lead of 7-3.
The pass defense kept back-up quarterback Michael Vick one-dimensional and the rush defense was able to keep them out of the end zone in the first three quarters.
A pick-six by Antwon Blake put the Steelers ahead and the home team answered with a field goal to tie the game. The 4th quarter came and the Bolts took at an early lead with another touchdown to Gates.
Vick was having a terrible passing game until his 72-yard touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton once again tied up the contest.
The Chargers then took the lead with a finger-crossing 54-yard field goal by Josh Lambo. The game was put in the hands of the defense with just a little over two minutes left. The defense then allowed them to drive 80 yards. Fans watched is utter disbelief as Le’Veon Bell got the tip of the ball to cross the plane just as the time ran out, giving the Steelers the victory.
Another game that the Bolts should have won but somehow found a way to lose.
The team from America’s finest city traveled to Green Bay in Week 6, making the trip as the underdogs to a 5-0 team led by quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The first quarter was ugly. The Packers were leading the 17-3 after a 65-yard run by running back James Starks. Rookie running back Melvin Gordon fumbled the ball in that quarter, but the offense was able to recover it and get a field goal.
On the next drive they got into the red zone and went for it on 4th and 3 on the Green Bay 12-yard line; a gutsy move by a usually conservative Mike McCoy. They were unable to score.
A second fumble by Gordon in the second quarter, recovered by Green Bay, put a stop to the Chargers’ running game.
The Air Coryell days were back with Rivers taking to the air, trying to win the game. The Packers had no answers for Rivers’ passing game even with a sketchy offensive line. The Chargers defense did alright, allowing the offense to have 38 minutes of possession and forcing a Packers field goal to make the score 27-20. San Diego’s signal caller was having a hell of a game, carrying the team on his back and once again found the red zone.
The upset of the year was in the making with the Chargers with a first and goal on the Packers three-yard line with only 33 seconds on the clock. The Packers defense that had allowed Rivers to pass for 503 yards without an interception, stopped the Bolts from getting into the end zone on four downs.
A defeated Rivers laid on the field in disbelief. We would never know if the Chargers could have won the game in overtime. San Diego once again had shown most of the country how to lose in the final seconds of an NFL game.
There are a lot of factors that lead the Chargers to lose games that they could/should have won. Interceptions and fumbles by the offense never help in securing a win, and neither is not gaining points when the defense causes a turnover. Missed field goals, missed tackles and missed opportunities from the defense leave a lotto be desired, negating any positive work done by the offensive side of the ball.
The season is still early, and the Chargers have the easier part of their schedule coming up. If the Bolts can eliminate stupid penalties, turnovers, cause turnovers and find some semblance of a running game, they could win their next five games.
The hearts of the fans are always beating at such a rapid pace at the end of these games. Save our hearts and secure these wins early.
Thanks for reading.
On March 13, 2015, a ripple of concern and suspicion began when the Chargers announced that they would be bringing in quarterback (QB) Marcus Mariota for a private workout. Why bring in a QB who is expected to be drafted far before the Chargers first round pick at 17? Are the Chargers really looking to sign Mariota just to have him sit behind Philip Rivers for the next three years? Is Tom Telesco just playing pre-draft games with the other general managers? Or, are the Bolts actually considering a change?
As time went by, the ripple gained momentum and grew to the size of La Jolla Shores breakers. Social media outlets began throwing out conspiracy theories that were mostly shot down as, “crazy talk”. But as the days wore on, more and more twists were added to the plot. A trade with Tennessee for the number two pick in the draft was being discussed. At number two, the Chargers would have whomever the Buccaneers did not choose between Florida St. quarterback Jameis Winston and Oregon QB Marcus Mariota. To old school Chargers fans, this scenario makes them squirm as they recall the weeks before the 1998 draft when the Bolts picked second and assured themselves whoever was left between Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. Not to say that Mariota will suffer the same fate as Leaf, but that is the thing about the draft: you just never know.
Well, those breakers became the size of Hawaii’s Bonzai Pipeline, when more and more dots were connected by the local and national media, along with sports talk radio, as they started digging around. Now the complete hypothetical plan was laid out and it actually seemed plausible! Rumblings from Chargers fans ranged from, “If they trade Rivers, I’m done”, to “Now it’s obvious that the Chargers want to move to Los Angeles”, to “It’s all talk! The Chargers will never trade Rivers!”
Just when you think it is safe to go back in the water, a tidal wave hits the shores of San Diego. Kevin Acee, of the UT San Diego, interviewed Rivers and received some discouraging answers from the Pro Bowl quarterback. When asked if he was working with the Chargers on extending his contract past 2015, Rivers said that he was not. He vowed to honor his contract and play out the next season in San Diego, but would not commit to re-signing with the Bolts for the future. Rivers went on to say, “I guess things could change, but with all the uncertainty in many aspects, I don’t see it changing before camp gets here, and when camp gets here I’m even more certain to play it (his contract) out.” He went on to say, “The good thing is that I’m not under contract in a year where we’d potentially be in Los Angeles.” That does not sound like a player who is locked into playing out his career with the Chargers.
So what are those, “many aspects” that Rivers is referring to? To figure that out, all one has to do is take a look at the current situation with the team, the stadium, his family, and yes, the future of the quarterback position for the San Diego Chargers. Not to get ahead of ourselves, let us take a look at the scenario that has been painted by the media, and fans, that might explain why there is so much speculation about the Mariota workout and the upcoming draft.
The current version of the Rivers trade theory is that he will be traded to Tennessee for the second pick in the draft. With most around the NFL believing that Tampa Bay will pick Winston number one, Mariota would then go to the Chargers at number two. This trade would work for a few different reasons. One, Rivers said that there are “many aspects” to consider before signing a contract to keep him in San Diego past 2015. One of those aspects would certainly be if the Bolts were staying in San Diego, or bolting to Los Angeles (LA). Perhaps Rivers does not want to leave his home in San Diego just to move his wife and seven kids to LA. If he is going to move anywhere, it would make more sense to move to the South, near where he grew up in Alabama. Tennessee is far closer to Alabama and the lifestyle is far more similar to Alabama than LA.
Furthermore, a trade to Tennessee would reunite Rivers with his former offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, the current head coach for the Titans. Rivers has one of his best years as a pro with Whisenhunt leading the way. Rivers would already know the offense and should be able to step right in and feel comfortable running the show.
Finally, there is the aspect of money. Rivers did not have a great year, by his standards, in 2014. Now would not a beneficial time for him to talk extension. If he plays one more season, with a vastly improved line, he may put up career numbers and be able to demand more money. Yes, Rivers is a nice guy, but even nice guys want to get paid. He does have seven mouths to feed after all.
Okay, all of that actually makes sense for why Rivers would look to leave. How about the Chargers? Why would they entertain the thought of trading away someone who is arguably a future Hall of Fame QB when he certainly has productive years ahead? Well, there are some reasonable answers to those questions as well.
First of all, Rivers is 33 years old and has never taken the Bolts to the Super Bowl. Two other quarter backs in the same draft class, Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, have won rings. Now football is a team sport, so you cannot put all of the blame on Rivers for that, so that cannot be the problem. Next, the Chargers have had trouble protecting Rivers and all the hits he has sustained have definitely taken a toll on the aging QB. Perhaps bringing in a mobile QB, like Mariota, will enable the Chargers to sustain drives when the offensive line breaks down. Then again, with the signing of Orlando Franklin and the opportunity to draft a lineman in the first round ahead, the line should be greatly improved. Finally, perhaps the Chargers feel that Mariota has a skill set that will give them a true franchise quarterback for the next 10 to 15 years, while saving cap space by getting out from underneath Rivers’ contract.
That brings us to the stadium issue, which could possibly be the main reason the Chargers would entertain the thought of trading away the face of their franchise. Although team president, Dean Spanos, continues to say that he would like to keep the team in San Diego, there have been few signs that he is interested in working with the recently created Citizens Stadium Advisory Group (CSAG). In fact, twice the Chargers have had Carson related stories come out on the same days when CSAG members have held events in San Diego. Perhaps the thinking is that if the Chargers move to LA, they want to be the, “new look” Chargers, and Rivers is too closely associated with San Diego for that to happen.
So is it a good idea to get rid of Rivers? Not a chance! With Rivers, you are not only talking about the face of the team, but also the emotional leader. You are talking about a guy who gives players hope. How many times have you heard, “As long as we have number 17, we have a chance?” You will not get that kind of leadership from a rookie QB. Mariota may have a successful career in the NFL, or he may not. There are no guarantees (see Ryan Leaf). Many experts feel that he will be a work in progress at the next level. He needs to learn how to lead a huddle and take snaps from under center; two things that he did not have to do in college. Yes, these are teachable skills, but do you want your starting QB to be learning the basics while in live action? Seems like an awfully big risk for a team that has a viable answer for the position for the next few years.
Finally, trading Rivers would be a poor PR move. That would be “public relations”, not Philip Rivers. The Bolts have long been known for treating their veterans poorly. Rodney Harrison, Junior Seau, Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Vincent Jackson are all examples of players that were shown the door without so much as a, “thank you”. If the new leadership of the Chargers wants to break that cycle and be embraced by the community, they need to handle situations with class and show star players that they appreciate them. It seems a team that may need a large percentage of citizens to vote for a stadium would not want to anger their fans. That is unless they do not really want to stay in San Diego. Even if they do let Rivers go, trading him now is not the answer. Let him play out his last year and see what happens.
What do you think? Is it time to look toward the future? Or, is 2015 a must-win season so that the city will embrace the team and vote for a stadium? Let me know in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you.
There is a lot for Charger fans to be excited about going into the 2014 NFL season. Now that it’s the second year under both Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy, there is a solid foundation in San Diego that the team has not had for quite some time. To be quite honest, these two gentlemen were left with quite the mess to clean up. And at this point, the Bolts are not only heading in the right direction, they are set to make some noise for the foreseeable future with Telesco and McCoy leading the way.
Despite all of the optimism surrounding Chargers Park, there are some questions going into the season that will help determine if this year ends up being another successful campaign.
Everyone knows the game 20 questions.
Below I’ll listing 20 intriguing questions that the answers will help provide the blueprint for what the 2014 season could be hinging upon for your San Diego Chargers.
1) Can this team stay healthy?
Like all NFL teams, so much of the success during the season depends on the health of the squad. Last season the Bolts lost both of their starting wideouts and starting outside linebackers in the early stages of the process. Injuries on the offensive line were overcome by the versatility that has been taught by coach Joe D’Alessandris. Despite losing a few key reserves, San Diego approaches the year healthy; minus a hamstring injury to Jahleel Addae.
2) Will Sean Lissemore play well enough at nose tackle to anchor John Pagano’s 3-4 defense?
Let me start this out by reminding fans that the Chargers were only in their base defense for roughly 40% of the time last year. That being said, Lissemore is not exactly built like a 3-4 NT. Look for teams to test the middle of the defense early and often. It won’t take too long to see how this position will be as far as being one that makes a solid impact, or becomes a question mark in 2014.
3) Can Ryan Mathews improve on his career year from 2013?
I truly believe he can and will. The team and Tom Telesco have been on record stating that Mathews will be the bell cow of the running back stable. The addition of Donald Brown seems to be more of an insurance policy than one that will eat into too many of Ryan’s touches. After finishing seventh in the NFL in rushing yards, he seems primed to carry the load as one of the main focuses of the offense.
4) Will Danny Woodhead continue to produce at such a high level as a receiver out of the backfield?
It will be difficult for Woodhead to put up the receiving numbers he did last year. But, make no mistake, Philip Rivers trusts him and uses him as a safety valve very often. Danny is a threat out of the backfield and he has very reliable hands. To expect him to finish with 76 receptions and 6 touchdowns receiving may be asking too much.
5) Will Johnnie Troutman hold down the fort at right guard while Jeromey Clary is out?
Cohesion along the offensive line is paramount to the success of the offense. Troutman has shown, at times, that he can be abused as both a pass blocker and run blocker. The drafting of Chris Watt in the third round of the draft had some believing that Clary may not make this team. After talking with Telesco for about 10 minutes at the Charger walk through at MCAS Miramar, it doesn’t seem that Jeromey is going anywhere. Watt received some snaps with the first team offense and then ending up losing out to Troutman. The right guard spot will certainly be one that is worth keeping an eye on.
6) Speaking of health, can Malcom Floyd rebound from the serious neck injury he suffered during week 2 last year versus the Philadelphia Eagles?
I have the utmost respect for Floyd, but he’s only played 16 games once – 2009 – over his NFL career. Sure, he’s seen some live action during the preseason, and made a play here and there. Losing Malcom again would, without a doubt, be an issue that would need to be addressed. In addition to his acrobatic catches, Floyd’s size and catching radius provide Philip a target that is uncommon among the other receivers. He is no longer relegated to solely being a deep threat as he has been asked to run many different routes in the passing game. Every single time he catches the ball, fans should be holding their collective breaths.
7) Will John Pagano be creative enough to confuse opposing offenses and avoid predictability in playcalling?
I am rooting for Pagano to have a breakout year as a defensive coordinator. His gameplan last year against Indianapolis was brilliant. But I’d like to see more of that. Disguised blitzes and more aggressive coverage outside by the cornerbacks must be a focus for this defense to succeed. The lack of pressure last year was sad. Ranking in the bottom 5 of the league in passing defense will not be acceptable in 2014. Pagano now has a few more playmakers/toys he can utilize moving forward. The question remains whether or not he’s able to put them in the best positions to make those plays that change games.
8) After watching Kendall Reyes be driven back off the line of scrimmage often, can he prove to be a solid player on the opposite side of Corey Liuget on the defensive line?
Reyes is a solid pass rusher for a 3-4 defensive end. But he struggles against the run when facing top-tier offensive linemen. Watching Kendall on roller skates while defending the run is quite a point of concern. It will be interesting to see how long he remains in the base defense on running downs.
9) Will Melvin Ingram convert those “almost plays” into game-changing plays?
Although disruption and quarterback hurries have taken a backseat, statistically speaking, to sacks, they are still vital to a team’s defense. Ingram played admirably after missing most of the year due to a torn ACL suffered last May. It is time to see him take that next step. It would be nice to see him moved around a bit more making it harder for teams to stop his pursuit. This is a big year for Melvin.
10) This will go with some of the aforementioned themes read above. Can Donald Butler stay on the field for sixteen games?
After signing a seven-year deal, Butler is expected to be a leader of the San Diego defense for many years to come. But his inability to stay healthy is an issue. Donald is a playmaker when on the field. Sure, he has his deficiencies, but he’s a very good all-around player. The Charger defense needs him on the field.
11) Will Kavell Conner eventually replace Manti Te’o in the starting lineup?
Many Te’o fans will be upset by this question. I do my best to not be too critical of players. It is worth pointing out that Telesco is familiar with Conner from his days in Indy. Kavell may not be as instinctive as Manti, but he has better speed and seems to be a better tackler; this dates back to tape of his time with the Colts. Do not be surprised if Kavell Conner is announced as the starter next to Butler at some point during the year. Let us hope that it isn’t due to a banged up, or injured, Manti Te’o.
12) Are Donald Brown and Eddie Royal the answers at kick returner and punt returner, respectively?
The special teams unit has been searching for an explosive, dynamic player in the return game since the loss of Darren Sproles. That search is still on. Donald Brown seems like Ronnie Brown’s double as a returner in the kicking game. A reliable guy that won’t turn it over, but doesn’t have the ability to break the big one. When looking at Royal as the punt returner, he’s a safe bet back there. But he hardly practiced most of last season. If given more exposure with return duties, is it more likely that Royal may end up being injured? Only time will tell.
13) What kind of impact will the addition of Brandon Flowers bring to the secondary?
The Bolts made a splash by signing the former Chief and adding him to the defensive back group. Despite his lack of size, Flowers is physical and can play multiple positions in the San Diego secondary. The team needs him to step up and wreak havoc while facing some of the league’s top receivers. Brandon is a clear upgrade and the hope is that he will help change games due to his aggressive style of play.
14) Have the Chargers found the answer at strong safety?
Jahleel Addae is a hard hitter. He has some work to do at wrapping up and in coverage. But, when healthy, he’s improving as he receives more playing time. But that’s the problem. It appears as though Addae will miss week one in Arizona. In comes Marcus Gilchrist. After being moved to the strong safety spot, he still has some learning to do. Marcus will be the starter week one. Book it. But when Jahleel is healthy, look for San Diego to make the switch to Addae. Despite being an undrafted free agent, he has impressed as a former CMU Chippewa. The position has been in serious flux since the days of Rodney Harrison. Richard Marshall will also factor in until Addae reruns to the field.
15) Was Jason Verrett the right choice at number 25 in the 2014 draft?
Yes. For those of you that didn’t approve of the drafting of Verrett, give him time and watch him impress you. The guy can make plays. He has great speed and his instincts accentuate that speed even more.
16) Can the Chargers improve on their dismal red zone performance from last year?
Settling for field goals with a brutal, difficult schedule will not cut it in 2014. The San Diego offense must score touchdowns. When you look at teams like Seattle, New England, San Francisco, Denver ( twice ) and Arizona, it will take maximizing scoring opportunities in the red zone for the year to be successful.
17) Will Mike McCoy’s conservative gameplan limit the Chargers and their ability to make a splash this season?
I have a ton of respect for McCoy and I like a lot of what he did as a rookie head coach in 2013. But, occasionally it seemed as though the team was calling plays not to lose, as opposed to having that killer instinct and going for the jugular. One could only hope, considering the weapons on offense, that coach will go into games with an aggressive mindset. Although Frank Reich is the offensive coordinator, McCoy sets up the gameplan every week. A “pedal to the metal” mentality is so important in what is a highly competitive league. You play to win the game.
18) Will Philip Rivers put up numbers similar to last year?
Rivers had a phenomenal year in 2013. He led the NFL in completion percentage at 69.5% while throwing 32 touchdowns and he posted a passer rating of 105.5. This is now year two within the new offense and it fits him very well. Not only will Rivers have another great year, fans should expect to see him exceed some of the stats from 2013.
19) Can Keenan Allen avoid having a sophomore slump after a fantastic rookie campaign?
Teams now have NFL tape on Allen. He is not going to surprise any defenses this year like he did as a rookie. He will most likely receive quite a bit of attention from opposing secondaries via double coverage, bracketing or a robber over the top. Keenan is one year removed from a knee injury that caused his stock drop to the third round of the draft. He has worked on increasing his speed and bulked up some, as well. Keenan Allen is a special player. Like Rivers, Allen has a great shot at bettering his numbers from his rookie year.
20) Will the Chargers play consistently enough to win the games they are supposed to win?
Houston. Tennessee. Washington. Games against the three aforementioned teams should have been wins. You cannot play down to the level of your competition and expect to be handed victories. For some reason, this has been a problem for the Bolts for many years. Playing each game like it’s your Super bowl should be the mantra of this team. No matter who the opponent is on the field, you must act as though they are a serious threat to steal a win.
Those are 20 questions that I believe will help develop the identity of the 2014 San Diego Chargers. The team has not had depth like this for almost 10 years. Heaven forbid the club has to deep too deep into their reserve players..
A healthy Charger team is a dangerous one. Despite a tough schedule, San Diego has a chance to be special. The hope in America’s finest city is that the Monday night opener will be the first of two trips to Arizona this season.
Thanks a lot for reading.
To say that the Chargers have underutilized Ryan Mathews this season is somewhat of an understatement. But, that is only my opinion. Right?
Or is it?
Two weeks ago he only received seven carries. Six of the aforementioned runs were in the first half of play. In Sunday’s loss to Denver, Mathews was called upon 14 times to tote the rock. Still not enough. But am I alone in this thinking as well?
After having a 39 yard run called back due to a holding call on John Phillips, Mathews still seemed to run with the vigor and power of a determined back when called upon. He is working on developing a stiff-arm that could eventually rival some of the greats. That is if he continues to put in the work to hone that certain part of his craft. This leads me to the next part of this piece.
In past seasons the work ethic of Mathews has been questioned. And, perhaps, rightfully so. It is known by the masses that he has failed at least one offseason conditioning test. I recall a mention/rumor of him failing a second during his time with the Bolts. I can’t fully commit to that being a fact, although I feel as though I remember that being reported.
But enough of that negative hype. This part of the post is supposed to be focused on the positive. Specifically the positive yardage that could be gained by increasing the touches of the former Fresno State Bulldog.
Though my frustration with Mathews in the open field has yet to receive the necessary “adjustments,” he has done a few things that have shown me that he is improved in more aspects of his game than I expected during the 2013 campaign.
Mathews looks to be a rejuvenated, motivated back that is ready to churn out yards at a game-changing pace. He runs hard and with authority. More impressive is the fact that he, at times, has exercised the patience to find holes and blow them open. His trouble making the last man miss is still a high priority on the “Mathews must improve list,” but he has been improving in other areas, nonetheless.
Knowing that Ryan is currently under contract until the end of the 2014 season, it is worth speculating if he will be a Charger the following year. Furthermore, if the new offensive regime is not fully committed to him, as it may seem during this year, how much will the running back command on the free agent market? What scares me, in all honesty, is that the team may even decide to get rid of him prior to the start of the 2014 season.
I must admit that I have been back and forth on my support of Mathews. My feeling at this point is if you are truly trying to evaluate his worth, then why not run him into the ground? Not literally run him into the ground, but why not find a way to get him 25 touches a game?
As Charger fans, we have watched the likes of Drew Brees and Darren Sproles go on to have tremendous success with the New Orleans Saints. Both have set NFL records and won the Superbowl after leaving San Diego.
We all remember watching Rodney Harrison unceremoniously ousted from the Bolts only to be signed by the New England Patriots. He won Superbowl Championships in both of his first two seasons with New England in 2003 and 2004. He was named first team All-Pro in ’03 and 2nd team All-Pro in ’04. He would play in a third Superbowl in 2007 with the Pats, but would go on to lose to the underdog New York Giants. That losing team included another former Charger. In fact, everyone’s favorite Charger….. Junior Seau. Though he was not the same player that he was in his younger years, Seau managed 3.5 sacks and 3 interceptions during the 2007 regular season which ended with a loss in his quest for the Lombardi trophy.
Heck, you can even go back to Lance Alworth. In 1971, Alworth’s first season as a Dallas Cowboy, despite finishing below 500 yards receiving, the Cowboys would win Superbowl VI.
I am sure that I am leaving out a few other big names that went on to have great success in the NFL after departing the San Diego SUper Chargers. These men are the ones that stick out in my mind. I could have even brought up Wes Welker but he was hardly in America’s finest city long enough to see the ocean. That does make him a former Charger.
But I digress.
The question remains the same. Will Ryan Mathews be the next Charger to move on and find success? The Mathews’ situation wreaks of one that could be very similar to those of the aforementioned players above. He has all of the talent in the world. He also has a set of limitations that could lead one to understand why he has not been used more often. But does he have what it takes, when provided with the proper coaching, to help be the missing piece for a team in need of a talented running back?
My hope is that we won’t have to see that happen for another team. My hope is that a light-switch will click for both him and the Charger coaching staff. But most of you know my theory about hoping in one hand and “expletive-ing” in the other. We all know which hand will fill up first.
Thanks a lot for reading.