Don’t give up on the Chargers just yet

Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) yells at the line of scrimmage during the second quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) yells at the line of scrimmage during the second quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports /

I have no right to tell you what to do. Heck, I’m hurting (mentally) just as much as you guys are after watching the San Diego Chargers squander their second fourth-quarter lead this season. If you’re like me, you look forward to football more than anything in the world–sort of–so these losses feel like a punch to the stomach.

Is it frustrating to watch this team? Yes. Will they eventually give you heart complications? Yes. Is it really worth being stressed out every Sunday rooting for a football team? Probably not.

Everybody deserves to whine and cry and bash the Chargers after years of underachieving. The organization’s questionable moves throughout the years doesn’t do us any favors either. Some say it’s unfair that the Chargers have to deal with a plethora of injuries to their impact players year after year. It stinks, but we all need to breathe and take it down a notch.

I’ve seen some people “jumping ship” after the loss to the Indianapolis Colts–don’t do it. It’s THREE games into the season. I understand, the Chargers still haven’t found that killer instinct and are in last place in the AFC West. We hoped that after the team lost eight games by a touchdown or less last season that they figured out how to win the close ones this season. Nope, but the “San Diego Chokers” comments are popping up more than ever.

Mike McCoy, who took the Bolts to the playoffs in 2013, has a more talented and deeper team than he’s had since becoming head coach, which makes this harder to fathom. Should the blame be put on him and the rest of the coaching staff? Absolutely. The players play a part, but as of now, McCoy and Co. don’t seem like they have what it takes to turn this franchise around.

Philip Rivers doesn’t have many years left in the league, and watching him on the sideline after another crushing loss makes you want to turn away. After playing extremely well in the first two games of the season, he did take a step back in Week 3, missing easy targets, but he’s done a very good job despite losing No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen and versatile back Danny Woodhead, both of whom tore their ACL. The team shouldn’t ride on the 34-year-old’s back any longer, but Rivers, who has not thrown a pick yet this season, can still be counted on when the time comes. His supporting cast needs to pick it up.

Running back Melvin Gordon has. Not only has he picked it up, but he’s been dominating, scoring four touchdowns in three games. You want to succeed? Keep feeding him the ball. The offensive line play is what’s really holding this team together, so let’s pray they can make it through the year intact (we saw what happened when Chris Hairston replaced King Dunlap at left tackle..ruh-roh, Raggy).

It’s unfortunate 2016 second-rounder Hunter Henry fumbled the ball in the final minutes, sealing a Colts’ victory, but he should have never been put in that spot in the first place. With Antonio Gates out, Henry did well, catching the ball five times for 76 yards, but watching him pace back and forth on the sideline about to breakout in tears because of a mistake was also hard to watch.

It wasn’t his fault. The Chargers should have been winning. Key drops on third downs late in game, missed opportunities in the red zone and costly penalties that kept Andrew Luck’s Colts’ drives alive killed this team. That, and T.Y. Hilton.

The Chargers are 1-2. Actually, the San Diego coaches are 1-2, because that’s what it’s come down to. Play soft with questionable play-calling at crucial times in the game–you lose. Play aggressive like there’s no tomorrow–you win. We’ve seen both outcomes so far.

Consistency, or lack thereof, has been a recurring theme with this Chargers team. The thing is, the Chargers are right there. They aren’t getting blown out. I mean, hey, at least they didn’t turn the ball over EIGHT times like a certain team. Making the playoffs in the AFC isn’t out of the question due to the fact that the rest of the NFL games have been inconceivable (good luck in your survivor pool if you’re still alive). But the Chargers’ up-and-down play will sink their captain-less ship.

Can they change? There’s not a ton of optimism with McCoy running things, especially after what has transpired over the last two years. But don’t give up. There’s still a lot of football left to be played–and this a better roster than what we’ve seen in those last two years.

The Chargers head home to play Drew Brees and the Saints in Week 4. In Week 5, they travel to Oakland to face the Raiders and then travel back down the coast to San Diego to host the Denver Broncos in Week 6. If McCoy’s Chargers still look incompetent come Week 6, then changes must be made, and giving up will be understandable.