“Some things in this world don’t make sense. This is one of them.”
Those are the exact words from the announcer after the Chargers botched a game-tying field goal with less than two minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Another late meltdown, another loss.
You just can’t make this stuff up.
So whose fault is it? I tweeted out yesterday that this falls on both the players and the coaches. You blame the players for choking, but you blame the coach for the bad atmosphere. Somebody asked, what if choking was because of a bad atmosphere? And I wholeheartedly agree.
Turnovers have been costly. Two fourth-quarter fumbles (one by RB Melvin Gordon and the other by WR Travis Benjamin) essentially gave the win to the New Orleans Saints. Antonio Gates fumbled in his return, Philip Rivers threw two interceptions (and almost lost a fumble) and Gordon coughed up the ball again late in Sunday’s game against the Raiders. The Chargers (1-4) actually trailed going into the fourth quarter, which has only happened twice this season (crazy, right?).
And the chaos in the final minutes? That’s not all the head coach’s fault. Think about this: With all the injuries and turmoil, Mike McCoy has had his team in EVERY game. Like I mentioned above, this was the second time all season that the Chargers trailed going into the fourth quarter (they’ve also led in every fourth quarter except against the Raiders). He deserves a tiny bit of credit for that.
He’s blamed for players’ crucial mistakes, making him the scapegoat.
But he’s also at the heart of the Chargers’ failure to win the game. I’m sorry, but he’s sinking this ship. Where’s Leonardo DiCaprio when you need him?
You play to win the game, and McCoy fails to understand this concept. It’s like he’s stubborn.
You go for it when it’s fourth-and-1 and the season is on the line. Show us grit. Show us things can change. Give us hope, man.
But he didn’t, and he never will.
October 9, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers punter Drew Kaser (8) misses the snap on a field goal attempt in front of kicker Josh Lambo (2) during the fourth quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
And that’s the biggest problem with this team. The players don’t believe in him. Josh Lambo is laughing after the game, and Rivers is at the podium stunned. This is not your ordinary “losing” season. We’ve hit a new low, friends.
How did we get here? The fans are depressed, and so are the players.
“My mind is racing so hard right now,” veteran Corey Liuget said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’ve got to (expletive) win. My heart hurts, my head hurts. I got all these aches and pains. If we’d have won, it wouldn’t hurt.”
14 points: That’s the total amount of points the Chargers have lost by in a combined four games. They have been outscored 97-63 (not including six points from overtime) in the second half. They rank second in the NFL with 30.4 points per game. SECOND. The Chargers have talent, but that talent is being wasted every single day under McCoy’s watch.
The players have made their fair share of mistakes, but all the signs point back to McCoy. So how do we fix this? We all know the answer to that question, and unfortunately the Chargers don’t have enough cojones to do what’s right. It’s a slap in the face to everyone who has ever supported this team.
The Chargers host the Denver Broncos in four days. They need to find a new leader, a leader who can change what has become a ghastly environment. Because right now, there is no such thing as “going forward” if McCoy is coaching this team.