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That’s exactly what I think of when I consider the Chargers moving into Sofi Stadium next season. I haven’t written since the loss in Mexico, but I can’t in good conscience support Philip Rivers after that game. The last two losses would absolutely have kept this team “in the hunt,” even after blowing the other five games. But the Chargers came out against KC as if they had learned their lesson from the final drive in Oakland. They tore through the Chief defense, which isn’t saying much since everyone else has. But once they got to the red zone, they basically stopped running. They may have tried one rushing play, but immediately went back to “chuck and suck.” When they could have built a big lead, they scored 3 points. I don’t care if the turf sucks, Badgley can’t be trademarking and missing. By his own admission, the team could have not kept a roster spot for him for over half the season.
I guess it should be noted that Hill was out for almost the entire game, but the defense certainly did their job in the fourth quarter. However, it was once again for nothing. I don’t know if that final drive was even that impressive or if the amazing catch by Mike Williams bailed Rivers and the team out. It would have been nice if Ekler had gotten out of bounds to save some clock but Rivers had a lot of time to make a decent throw and didn’t. He took the team down the field in Pitt and KC last season to win. He did it in OT against Indy and would have done so in Tennessee if not for the colossal shitshow on the goal line. But the last two game are absolutely on Phil. Those 7 picks have ended their season. The AFC is more wide open than it was a year ago, at least to qualify for the playoffs. I don’t know if Baltimore will be this dominant in January or if New England or even Buffalo (since everyone is talking after their win in Dallas) will make a serious run in the AFC. Maybe KC will get hot. People forget that along with Marlon McCree fumbling, the Colts defense suddenly got dangerous after Bob Sanders came back for the playoffs. Of course, we later signed him and it was a total waste.
All I know is that this team is not making it in. Just like 2017, they will probably hang around. I do doubt their ability to win out, especially since I see no way that Rivers will be benched. But even if they did end up 9-7, they wouldn’t get in. I don’t think they deserve it because even with the injuries and Gordon’s hold out, they still did this to themselves. Kyle Brandt of GMFB said it best here.
The Chargers already lost the ones that mattered. Good teams don’t drop the games (and the way they’ve blown them) that this year’s team has. 2018 may have been just a massive anomaly.
Phil may get into the Hall of Fame but has appeared on the SI cover only these two times and they were both regional.
As great as Joey Bosa has been, his brother has already been on the cover more than he has. Sadly, this team has done just enough to raise people’s expectations so that when they don’t meet them they are branded as a failure. All that has ever mattered is whether the Chargers could finally get themselves off the Tortured Twelve List of teams that have never won a Super Bowl. Right now, the Bills or even the Titans have a better shot to do that than us. I will be watching Sunday, but I really see no point to bring back Derwin James if he’s ready. It’s just more of reminder that all this team had to do was stay “in the hunt” to make his return matter. Telesco had to know Okung wouldn’t be ready for a chunk of the season and chose to go forward with Scott, Tevi, etc. Now he’s back but has a groin injury.
I have stood up for Rivers for so long and he has taken so many literal and figurative hits for the Chargers. But look at other teams’ aging immobile quarterbacks. John Harbaugh was getting fired last year until he benched Joe Flacco. Sure, Anquan Boldin and the the 49ers decision not to use THEIR mobile QB on the goal line may have helped, but Flacco has a ring. We all hate Eli, but he has two. Who knows what the Steelers will do next year with Roethlisberger, but they may make the playoffs without him. They beat us with the 3rd string guy. The fact is that I don’t think signing Rivers next season is smart at all.
This team has tons of holes, especially on the offensive line. Maybe Phil’s ability to “throw from a congested pocket” made Telesco think he could get by with these guys this season. But it’s time. I don’t think the team will do anything until the offseason. Honestly, I thought Taylor should have started the second half in Mexico. I know that would have been the ultimate disrespect to many (many Phil himself), but at least the season could have been salvaged at this point. The reality is that Lynn, Telesco, Dean, whoever has the say at this point is willing to let Rivers drive the rest of this year into the ground.
So James and Phillips have been activated. I guess my concern is where any of this leaves the Chargers at the end of December. Gordon has looked like the guy he was last season again. Do we let him walk? Do we go all in on Ekler like many thought we should with Michael Turner once LT started to get older? I truly think guys like Bosa and James need to be paid–by us. Yes, Ingram had that awful penalty that might have turned the game around in Mexico. But he also kept the team in the game along with Bosa. I think he still needs to be retained. I have a hard time putting Desmond King in the “untouchable” category. If he is, then stop running him out for punts. He’s fumbled a bunch and is lucky he didn’t lose another last time out.
So here we are in what was once called Philcember. We never got to appreciate a full Janurivers or even a Februrivers. But we have a .04 percent chance to make the playoffs even if we win our 5 final games. Once again, they have found a way to lose every significant tiebreaker before November is even finished.
Anyway, I’ll be watching tomorrow because that’s what I do. I’m sure you will be too.