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NFL San Diego Chargers

San Diego Chargers Still Struggling to Hold Leads

San Diego Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers lost their 2013 regular season opener last night at home to the Houston Texans by a final score of 31-28. San Diego blew a 28-7 lead and led 28-14 going into the fourth quarter of last night’s game.

This looked similar to 2012 when San Diego blew a lead in the fourth quarter in four games. San Diego missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record, but if they held on to fourth-quarter leads, they would have had a shot at catching the 10-6 Cincinnati Bengals, who won the second wild card spot.

San Diego contained Houston’s run game, but Houston QB Matt Schaub picked them apart. Chargers QB Philip Rivers had one turnover after committing 47 over the last two seasons, but his only TO was returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

The Lighting Bolts have to be mentally tough in order to have a successful season. San Diego’s offensive line showed some improvement as they allowed two sacks last night after giving up three sacks per game in 2012. Houston ranked fifth in the NFL with 44 sacks in 2012, so allowing two is nothing to be ashamed about.

There are not high expectations for San Diego this season as most analysts picked them to finish third in the AFC West. The Denver Broncos are favored to win the division and possibly a Super Bowl, so San Diego cannot afford to give away a game like they did last night if they are going to contend for a division title.

Houston finished 2012 with a 12-4 record and was favored by 3.5 points in last night’s game. San Diego had a 21-point lead at one point last night, so it could be a sign that San Diego is better than most experts expect them to be in 2013.

Eight of San Diego’s 14 coaches are new to the team this year, including first-time head coach Mike McCoy. San Diego also brought in Tom Telesco to be the general manager. The changes looked great when San Diego led 28-7, but after blowing that lead, time will tell if the right moves were made for the present and future of the team.

Related:

Different Coaching Staff and Front Office, Same Choking San Diego Chargers
Despite Collapse, San Diego Chargers Look Better Than Expected Against Houston Texans