The whole nation has now gotten to see what Chargers fans have seen for the last year and a half, the unraveling of a franchise.
Bad teams, made bad mistakes, make bad plays, and lose, and so the Bolts now have a 5-game losing streak, sitting at (2-7) on the season, having lost to another bad team, the Chicago Bears.
It started with the street alley beating they took from the Raiders, and it’s gotten worse since. A bad loss to Baltimore, and now this, losing to a virtually all rookie Bears team.
And it was another last minute setback, like so much of this season has become.
Four more players went down with significant injuries. By halftime, Philip Rivers had lost virtually all his down the field receivers. The defense kept blitzing, kept giving up big plays, and died on the field.
Jay Cutler took Chicago on a 93-yard drive, covering 15-plays, and 8-minutes. Then he drove them again, using big ‘chunk’ plays to get them the winning touchdown, thanks to a marvelous 1-handed Zach Miller TD catch. Of course, he was wide open in the secondary.
There were the assortment of Chargers mistakes, including the stupid spike the ball penalty by receiver Stevie Johnson, the flag against offensive guard DJ Fluker, three penalties on three plays earlier in the game. Donnie Inman fumbled a completion, then dropped a pass. Trustworthy Danny Woodhead dropped two passes also.
Rivers took 10-hits and back-to-back sacks late in the game, and even Superman at quarterback cannot get it done, when the team around him becomes Kryptonite.
Chicago survived its own calamites. It seemed they were in San Diego territory all night. A missed field goal at the 29; a fumble at the San Diego 15; a Cutler interception at the 30; another missed field goal at the 15; and 3-bad penalties themselves.
There are problems everywhere, a battered roster, to a bad defense, to an owner who wants to leave, after poisoning the relationship with the city and fans.
At times this looked like a preseason exhibition game in August, not a game with meaning in November. And just think, the Bolts still have to play Denver twice, Kansas City twice, and go to Oakland to meet the Raiders.
They’ll get a very high first round pick by virtual of the roster that Tom Telesco has put together. The season is starting to resemble the Ryan Leaf (1-15) season, and who could have ever thought you’d say that about a team that has Philip Rivers as his quarterback.
I am haunted by two things. Seeing Rivers get knocked around and trying to rally this team, is like watching Dan Marino in Miami, when he got beat (62-7) in his final game against Jacksonville.
And I see an eerie comparison to what happened 20-years ago this past weekend. Art Modell announced he would move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, and they never won a game again after that announcement.
This mess is not on Philip Rivers; it may not be even on Mike McCoy. It’s bad football, bad injuries, bad leadership, and now the whole nation has seen the demise of the San Diego Chargers.