The feeling of underachieving is a difficult one to shake. That’s been a label attached to the San Diego Chargers for the better part of the past decade as this franchise has entered nearly each and every NFL season with sky-high hopes only to have them crash down to earth with a relatively uneventful thud. It seems this year’s squad avoided the usual pomp and circumstance of expectations but still decided that losing games they shouldn’t was an acceptable practice.
Now it may not seem like the right time to be a Debbie Downer with the Bolts coming off of a huge road win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, but it’s hard not to wonder what this team’s mentality is on a week-to-week basis. Brace yourself for a staggering statistic that will shake you to the core from this 2013 campaign.
The Chargers are currently 1-5 against teams with a losing record yet boast an amazing 4-1 mark against teams with a winning record.
That really is impossible to try and comprehend. This team has been prone to playing down to its competition in the past under the previous regime of Norv Turner, but that issue was thought to be thrown out the window with Mike McCoy’s arrival to the sidelines. Evidently the issue is more player personnel based than coaching, and that is a scary realization to be having.
Winning just one game against teams with a record below .500 while only losing one to teams with a record better than .500 is simply incomprehensible. It would be understandable if the Bolts lost to teams like the Denver Broncos – their only loss to a winning team – on a regular basis given the way Peyton Manning has led that team this season. But to be losing to the likes of the Oakland Raiders, Houston Texans, Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, and Tennessee Titans is absolutely inexcusable.
I suppose a way to shine an optimistic light on this core-shaking stat is by saying that the Chargers only play two teams below .500 down the stretch with three games against some of the league’s elite beginning Sunday against the AFC North leading Cincinnati Bengals. Most teams would be written off due to this type of development, but the Chargers have shown reason for quite the opposite thus far.
It’s hard to say the Chargers are right where they want to be in a chasing position with just five games remaining, but perhaps it’s the truth. This team may be ready to make a playoff push against the most improbable of odds with the schedule looking grim and pretty much every metric saying they should be written off for good. It’s hard to understand this team, but if they can somehow shake the underachiever moniker I think I’d be willing to admit not having an answer to this ongoing enigma.