I never got over the loss to Kansas City. I can admit that now. The Houston game just reinforced the frustration from the previous game. It’s not as if I went into the Chiefs (once they won that Super Bowl I figured I had to stop calling them the Queefs) feeling super confident. The Chargers have been inconsistent all year, but for them to have so many opportunities to put KC away and then just fold was rough to see. I can also confess that I went into last weekend feeling like our season was over. Of all the scenarios needed to keep the Chargers alive for the postseason, the one I was least confident in was us winning two straight. I did end up tuning in to the Rams/Ravens game, but wouldn’t quite let myself get sucked in. How many years have we seen the Chargers lose seemingly winnable games early in the season and then end up hoping that some other team loses? Kyle Brandt did a nice bit a few years back about how as much as he loved Rivers, he’d seen his movie before. Did I expect us to lose to the Texans? No, but I don’t know much about them and figured they couldn’t be as bad as everyone said. All the guys out due to COVID clearly played a role, but I still think we should have been able to win that game. Now, you could easily lament that the Chargers would be in the playoffs right now and wouldn’t have to worry about the Raiders.
Of course, if Odell Beckham (of all people) hadn’t caught a 4th down pass in Baltimore, our season could be over right now. You can’t get stuck thinking about “what if,” especially if you’re a Bolthead. The full Charger behavior would then have been to lose to Denver. They certainly didn’t do that. The reality is that if the Bolts were to come out and blow out the Traitors Sunday Night, people would say “that’s the team we thought they could be.” In actuality, they’d just be giving themselves a shot at a rematch with KC.
I don’t know what my expectations for this season were. We saw glimpses of what it could be like if Herbert put the team on his shoulders. Remember when they could have seemingly bled the clock in KC, but he opted to throw to Mike Williams? They went up 21 points on the Raiders the following week, only to let them back in. I saw first hand the game against Cleveland when they gave the game away more than once, but somehow Herbert saved them. We still don’t know what this team can do. They have a chance to restart the season on Sunday Night.
All year long, our expectations have been tempered by the lack of depth on this team. However, we’ve seen guys like PIPKINS, Campbell, Tillery, etc step up against good teams. What would an acceptable ceiling be for the Bolts? At this point, a loss on Sunday would negate all the good things we’ve seen. We saw a miracle playoff berth in 2013 with a first-year coach who turned out to a stupid pussy who will never get a job again. We almost did the same thing in 2017, but lost the two games that would have really made a difference in Foxboro in Arrowhead. I don’t know if you can blame their lack of winning a Super Bowl in 2018 to Lynn. Perryman laughing on the sidelines against the Raiders (irony intended) and then missing the rest of the year was a killer. Gus Bradley (see the connection?) trying the same defense out in Foxboro as he used in Baltimore didn’t help. Remember how “dangerous” people thought the Chargers were going in to that postseason? Okung saying the NFL didn’t want a playoff game in Stub Hub and people figuring the Colts would beat KC. The Patriots were an afterthought to a lot of people, expect Chargers fans.
The reality is you are either getting closer to winning a Super Bowl or you aren’t. A loss on Sunday would mean aren’t closer. We care that it’s against the Raiders, but I doubt the players do. The idea that they’ve endured so much and it’s amazing they are still alive for the playoffs? Gruden’s emails, killing someone and a DUI from a player you are going to just let back on the field isn’t adversity and it doesn’t make a team some scrappy bunch people should pull for.
But we know that all that means nothing. What about the punching bags that Chargers fans have become for years. I just dug up a Trey Wingo bit after the 2017 loss to JAY FUCKING CUTLER where he went through all the 2016 meltdowns as well. The move to LA only gave people more ammo to say “Same Old Bolts.” It’s interesting that no one talks about the Colts, Ravens or even Raiders abandoning their loyal fanbases to move. If the Chargers ever win a Super Bowl, San Diegans and haters all over the world would just have let the old narratives go. But until then, expect to hear the same criticism.
I don’t even care about Derek Carr or any of their current players. Are we a better team? It would appear so, but until we play complete games will use the talent we have as more justification for what losers we are. No one will cite the lack of depth or that they are a year away. We know what happens in the regular season means nothing. Sure, the Bengals win against KC made me think that it should have been us. But who knows how they will play in the postseason. The Raiders have been in “playoff mode” for 3 weeks? What the fuck have we been doing then? The Chargers are both expected to be in the playoffs and also somehow have disappointed? Which one is it? I guess Sunday will provide the answer. The bad angles tackling, the dropped passes and the bad penalties are as frightening as any opponent we face. I admit I gave up after Houston. I declared the season a failure. The Chargers have been given a chance to start over. That’s all you can ask for, especially against the Raiders. Vegas, by the way, will have a ton of Charger fans. The crowd only matters if you lose. Remember Derek Carr saying the Monday Night game would be a home contest? Mike Zimmer said the same thing too. It only matters what you do on the field, especially in the 4th quarter. To make up for the lack of a post last week, I will be back Saturday with more ranting and rambling. Clearly, I’ve got some stuff to work through. Talk to you then.