The San Diego Chargers were able to overcome their inconsistencies during the 2008 NFL season after they started the year with a 4-8 record. San Diego finished the season at 8-8 and won the AFC West in their last regular season game by beating the Denver Broncos 52-21. Both teams finished the season at 8-8 and 1-1 against each other, but the Chargers were 5-1 in the division while Denver was 3-3. The Lightning Bolts were unable to overcome their inconsistencies the last two seasons.
The Kansas City Chiefs won the division at 10-6 during the 2010 season and had a 2-4 record in the division. San Diego started that season with a 2-5 record, won four straight games, lost a game and were 3-1 in their last four games to finish 2010 at 9-7 overall and 3-3 in the division. San Diego was one win away from making the playoffs in 2010, and their week five loss against the Oakland Raiders hurt. The Chargers led 24-15 in the third quarter, but they lost this game by a final score of 35-27. San Diego started 2011 at 4-1, lost six games in a row and finished the season 4-1 in their last five games. Denver and San Diego finished the season at 8-8, 3-3 against the division and 1-1 against each other, but the Broncos won the West because they had a better record against common opponents.
2008, 2010 and 2011 were examples of San Diego shooting themselves in the foot. They were able to heel their wounds in 2008, but not in 2010 and 2011. All of the AFC West teams were within one game of each other when the 2011 season ended. San Diego will not have to look back and wonder what could have been if they avoid these horrific stretches which left them one win away from the playoffs in 2010 and 2011.