Yes, disappointment is in the air again. Huge disappointment. It seems that nothing has changed from 2015 for the San Diego Chargers. Players are still going down with injuries left and right and the team is still losing games they should win left and right.
Such was the case on Sunday when the team gave up a 34-21 fourth-quarter lead before eventually losing to the winless New Orleans Saints 35-34. Those are the kinds of games that costs coaches their jobs and if I’m general manager Tom Telesco, I’m not sure I let Mike McCoy even finish the season.
Here, we’ll reflect on Sunday’s game and point out some players who brought their ‘A’ game and those who didn’t help much in preventing the team’s third loss of the season.
Oct 2, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers tight end Hunter Henry (86) and quarterback Philip Rivers (17) react after a touchdown during the first half of the game against the New Orleans Saints at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Philip Rivers: The Chargers aren’t 1-3 because of poor quarterback play. Philip Rivers passed for over 300 yards again and tossed two touchdowns. He outplayed his former teammate Drew Brees, but still took the loss.
Melvin Gordon: The Chargers’ second-year running back may be the league’s most improved player. Though he only gained 36 yards on the ground in this game, he found the end zone twice. He also added six receptions for 43 yards.
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Dontrelle Inman: This was a pleasant surprise for the Chargers. Dontrelle Inman had the best day of his young career, catching seven passes for 120 and a touchdown. Too bad the Chargers wasted it.
Dontrelle Inman: six catches, 117 yards, TD. Rest of Chargers' WRs: four catches, 55 yards, 0 TDs.
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) October 2, 2016
Hunter Henry: It’s going to be a sad day when Antonio Gates hangs up the cleats, but the team has this young kid. Hunter Henry scored the first touchdown of his career in addition to catching four passes for 61 yards on Sunday. He’s only going to keep getting better.
Oct 2, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin (12) fumbles the football as New Orleans Saints defensive back Sterling Moore (24) defends during the fourth quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Travis Benjamin: Not only did Travis Benjamin have a quite day against one of the league’s worst defenses (4 receptions, 48 yards), but he coughed up a fumble late in the game that ended up leading to the go-ahead score for the Saints.
Coaching Staff: It’s tough to decide which one of the coaches isn’t pulling their weight for this team, they’ve all had bad moments. But ultimately it’s on the head coach to get things in order. McCoy simply isn’t doing that and unless there’s a big change soon for this team, it’s hard to imagine him returning as the team’s head coach. How do you consistently lose close games like this? How do you consistently find a way to lose games like this?
Mike McCoy as fired up as I've seen him in four seasons. "Everything falls on me. I'll take the blame for everything that happens."
— Michael Gehlken (@sdutGehlken) October 3, 2016
As you can see by the lack of players in the “duds” category, this is a game that the Chargers clearly should have won. That’s a phrase Chargers fans have uttered many times this year. Things don’t figure to get any easier either, as the team’s next three games are against the Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons. Those three teams have a combined record of 10-2 so far this season.