As difficult as it is to pen these words, the San Diego Chargers will once again miss out on the postseason in 2013.
There, I said it.
This team filled with promise, hope, and energy has now gotten into the meat of its schedule, and if the results against the Denver Broncos are any indication the rest of the year might not be pretty. San Diego has skated by on a relatively easy slate to this point with blown leads and missed opportunities being the hallmark of the team. It didn’t take either of those situations to show in Week 10 that the Bolts just don’t have the horses to compete for a playoff spot this season.
At 4-5 things might not seem dismal for the Chargers, and considering the fact that just one of those losses – the Week 5 late-night debacle at the Oakland Raiders – was even a double-digit loss (10 points) this team has been competitive in every game. But there comes a point where a line must be drawn between competitive and a true competitor. These Bolts have played inspired football, but that generally isn’t enough to will a team into the postseason.
New head coach Mike McCoy has gotten the most out of his injury-riddled team this season, but it’s hard to resurrect a franchise in year one. Of course that doesn’t seem to apply to Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, but the Chargers were in a totally different phase. This team was on the cusp of making a Super Bowl push for nearly a half-decade only to come up short year after year and lose another superstar performer each offseason.
Ultimately this roster needs time to take shape and develop before the Bolts are ready to be launched back into the contender conversation. Currently they stand behind only the surprise 5-4 New York Jets in terms of the playoff race, but another game with Denver along with two tilts with the aforementioned Chiefs may be too much to overcome. And with the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins, and Cleveland Browns all vying for the last wild card spot as well with the same 4-5 record as San Diego, the competition is sure to weed out the pretenders sooner or later.
Another year of seasoning along with a repeat stellar draft class from general manager Tom Telesco and some help on the injury front will vault this team right into the mix a year from now. Unfortunately that is what fans of this team have been hearing for the last handful of seasons.