For the last couple of weeks, much has been made of the disappointing start the Los Angeles Chargers are off to. We’ve also mentioned that things could get a lot worse.
At 0-3, the Chargers are in a spot in which the margin for error has been reduced to zero. In come the Philadelphia Eagles looking to deal the Chargers’ season a deathblow.
An 0-4 start, particularly in the AFC West, would basically be insurmountable. Still, even at 0-3 they’ll have their work cut out for them and turning the season into any kind of a positive is going to be a challenge.
So, we posed the following question to the writing staff here at Bolt Beat.
Q: After an 0-3 start, what are the realistic expectations for the Chargers this season? Are the playoffs already out of the question? What would you like to see the team accomplish if that is the case?
Below are their answers. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Use the comment section below to share.
Anthony Totri: “I almost feel like the definition of realistic expectations changes when it’s applied to the Chargers. The best a Chargers fan can hope for is that the team learns how to magically finish football games. Realistically the Chargers should be 2-1 if they could play remotely well in the fourth quarter, but we all know reality gets a little twisted when it comes to the Chargers. After an 0-3 start I still think the team has a chance at a wildcard. However, a loss this week definitely puts any hopes of a playoff berth out of reach.”
Scott Iger: “We’re only three weeks in and it’s already been a tough season for Chargers’ fans. While the playoffs are not completely out of the question, it seems that we are out of consideration for all intents and purposes. If the playoffs are not an option, I hope to see the team continue to gel and acclimate to the new systems from coach Lynn and defensive coordinator Bradley. I would also like to see some of our younger players get some more experience, and certain players, like Trevor Williams, are impressing me already.”
Kade Dohmen: “With some other AFC teams surprising (Bills, Broncos) and others potentially rising (Jags, Ravens, Dolphins), plus with the crowded room that was already here (Chiefs, Raiders, Texans, Titans, Pats, Steelers), it’s going to be really difficult for the Chargers to make the playoffs starting 0-3. They have the talent to do so, like everyone always says, but they still can’t put it all together on the field. I think if the team keeps playing like this, a 6-10 campaign is the best thing to shoot for. Now, they could obviously still turn it all around, but I’m not putting money on that just yet. If they can’t make the playoffs, I’d just like to see improvement game by game, especially by some of the younger players. Give Desmond King, Austin Ekeler and other younger contributors more time. Don’t force Mike Williams on the field, but don’t baby him either. Just see what this team is made of.”
Tyler Schoon: “Dreams of the playoffs appear to be fading away before our disappointed eyes. Pretending the Chiefs hold on to take the AFC West, the Chargers would be looking to get into the Wild Card spot. Much of the rest of the AFC isn’t too threatening, but unfortunately the two spots may very well go to Oakland or Denver, the latter of which we’ve already lost to.
At this point, the Chargers should be looking to win games they should be winning and try and split some wins and losses against better opponents.”
Mike Murray:“Before the season began I said the fate of this team would all hinge on the play of the offensive line. When Lamp got injured the line suffered a big blow. When Tuerk and Feeney underwhelmed us at camp things got worrisome. The Chargers are already pulling lineman off of other teams’ discard piles. The line is in bad shape and even if they pull it together and start playing better their ceiling is limited because the talent just is not there. Through 3 games the Chargers rank 26th in the league in scoring and their rushing attack ranks 27th.
On top of that the clumsy start to the season has put them in an 0-3 hole and the team is losing confidence in themselves. For me I see 3 wins on the schedule – Giants, Browns and Jets.”
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Alexander Insdorf:“I don’t think 3 games into the season is close to enough to bury this team or any team this year. There’s still plenty of time, and the team’s start is worrying, but I think they certainly could get it together for a late season push for the playoffs.
Going under the assumption they are done though, there are still a number of things I’d like to see. The evolution of the defense with Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa is already scary, but it could be even more lethal next year if they keep developing. I’d love to see what we can get out of Mike Williams, who’s still waiting in the wings for his chance to play. We also have to watch where Philip Rivers goes this season and evaluate him after the season. Unfortunately, he is 36.
I don’t think the season is over, but even if it is, there’a still a number of interesting things to watch for.”
Matt Pagels: “What started off as high expectations to begin the 2017 season has quickly become lowered after an ugly 0-3 start. If the Chargers drop to 0-4 on Sunday, then I believe the season is over, regardless of how early it may be. Overall, I’d like to see the offense pick it up and if first-round pick Mike Williams makes an impact once he suits up. I’d also like to see Melvin Ingram, who’s on a tear right now, continue to rack up the sacks.”
Travis Wakeman: “It’s only been three games, but I’m going to be brutally honest. This is not a playoff team. I can easily rattle off the names of 8-10 teams in the AFC alone that are better than the Chargers, including all three of the other teams in the AFC West. With that being said, the best you can hope for is the development of some of the young players on this team. However, if they end up with a top 5 pick in a heavy quarterback draft next year, things are going to be very interesting as it relates to the aging Philip Rivers.”