People were giving the San Diego Chargers a chance for once this season, but it proved to be a little too late. The Bolts were bounced out of the playoffs with a 24-17 loss to the Denver Broncos. The Chargers were outmatched, outclassed and outplayed on Sunday. It is too bad for the Chargers, because they really had the ball rolling prior being eliminated.
At one point of the season, the Chargers were 5-7 and playing below-average football. Lightning stuck somewhere and they rolled through the remainder of the regular season. Four straight regular season wins had put them in the playoffs with all odds against them. Their chances to make it in were slim, but thanks to the Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins, they found themselves in possession of an AFC Wild-Card spot.
The Bolts entered the postseason with high hopes and it carried over into their first matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals were undefeated at home all season until their loss to the Chargers in the first round of playoff action.
The Bolts proved their doubters wrong all year and this team deserves the respect that was lost in the years prior. Even though they are probably on their way home right, they have every reason to be confident that they will be back in postseason next year. Fans in San Diego may feel otherwise, but they have a team they should be proud of.
The road to the Super Bowl was one that this team just wasn’t ready to handle. Injuries have plagued this team all year. The Bolts lost Malcom Flyod and Danario Alexander early in the season. The added depth to their receiving core when these guys get healthy will be something every team will envy. When fans look back, they will see that their Chargers may have overachieved a bit, but they shouldn’t complain.
Next year will be an even better year for the Chargers. Philip Rivers is playing like an elite quarterback and the Chargers’ defense showed constant improvement over the last six weeks of the season. Barring any injuries, this team will be competing for the AFC West title soon. The resurgence of Ryan Mathews is another reason this team will be fine. They established their running game and they will continue to get better. The offensive line was trampled over today, but they too have dealt with their share of injuries. It is a unit that performed well all season. When they are healthy, they can hold their ground against any defensive line in the NFL. The Chargers are in position to cause havoc and they will do just that next year. For now, at least we have the rest of the playoffs to enjoy.