The on again, off again playoff contender status of the San Diego Chargers is officially on again after a seemingly improbable triumph over the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Though making the playoffs would be amazing in the first year under the new regime of general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy, it’s easy to already call this season a big step forward for the organization.
After more than a half-decade of mediocrity with the worst complexion in pro sports, Norv Turner as head coach and the Lord of No Rings, A.J. Smith as GM, it’s clear a change was needed to spark this team into the future. That shake-up came in the form of two 40-year-olds with dreams of taking this club to new heights never achieved under the previous regime.
These Bolts may have looked like competitors in seasons past, but the truth is they never really were. This team always found a way to break the hearts of fans in some form or fashion in the postseason. Now granted, these current Bolts will have to at least make the playoffs before a true judgment can ever even be passed in that regard, but the fact is they have already made some serious statements this season.
McCoy’s go-to statement for this squad is this: “They bought in from Day One.”
As cliché as that is on the surface, it really rings true for this team that never really seemed to buy into what the previous regime was selling. Whether it was the monotonous “one game at a time” or “we’ll get back in there and fix what went wrong” rhetoric or the continual conservative play-calling that was fooling approximately no one, those old Bolts never instilled any kind of tangible hope in the franchise’s future.
It may still be just the regular season, but the resolve this team has already shown along with a growth from the Week 1 meltdown to present day is remarkable. This team has won two games in the last month over both the Kansas City Chiefs and Broncos on the road. You have to go back to 2009 since that’s happened, and you’ll never guess what happened that year.
That’s right; that was the last time these Bolts made it to the postseason. It could easily be argued that was the last time this team had an inherent belief in itself and a real spirit that inspires winning. Call it coincidence if you like, but these Chargers are going to make the competition outplay them if they don’t make the 2014 NFL Playoffs.
Write it down: These Bolts are finishing 9-7.