There is no polite way to tell a team to lose as a fan. It really goes against the genetic code of all of us to endorse our respective teams mailing it in for any portion of any game, let alone an entire quarter of a season. But unfortunately that’s what it’s come to for the San Diego Chargers as their postseason dreams were shattered in Week 13 at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals, and if the Bolts want to finally break their soon-to-be four year playoff drought in 2014 they’d be better off losing the remaining games on their schedule.
It’s not like the team faces an easy slate by any means down the stretch so they may not actually have to try to lose any games, but it would behoove the Bolts to improve their draft standing as much as possible heading into the offseason. General manager Tom Telesco proved that he can turn water into wine already in his first draft at the helm by selecting three gems in the draft’s first three rounds in tackle D.J. Fluker, linebacker Manti Te’o, and wide receiver Keenan Allen. There’s no telling what Telesco would be able to manufacture if the Bolts had a bit loftier of a selection in this year’s selection.
That impressive haul from this past April came via the No. 11 overall pick in round one and a few crafty trades later on in the proceedings. A top 10 pick this season could potentially score the Chargers a much-needed consistent protector for quarterback Philip Rivers at left tackle. Of course the team could always look to cure its ridiculously poor secondary as well by taking one of the top corners in off of the board with their first selection. It also wouldn’t be a bad move to trade down for once and stockpile additional picks in a draft with so many high-profile quarterbacks and plenty of teams starved for a franchise signal caller. This could potentially allow the Chargers to cure multiple ailments in one draft and really vault them into legitimate contender status next season.
It’s really hard to believe that the Bolts have played a dozen games this season and their most lopsided defeat was a 10-point loss to the Oakland Raiders. Eight of the 12 games thus far have been decided by one possession (eight points or less) with the Chargers coming up on the short end more often than not. They really are just a few key pieces away from regaining their status as one of the better teams in the NFL, and the genesis of that identity being formed is the 2014 NFL Draft.
There is no hard evidence to prove that losing out would ultimately yield more wins next season, but there’s plenty to support that wins this year won’t count for much. The playoffs are a lost cause at this point, and the players are battling for pride and their livelihoods at this point, not the betterment of the Chargers. It might not be a popular sentiment, but it’s time for the Bolts to turn the page to 2014 and let the losing begin down the stretch.