Four weeks have passed in the 2017 NFL season. For some teams, things have gone quite well. For others, such as the Los Angeles Chargers, it’s been really, really bad.
The Chargers sit at 0-4 and barring something miraculous, are probably already out of the playoff race. That’s quite unsettling for fans who have waited years for the team to be a contender again.
It’s hard to imagine the season getting much worse for the Bolts, though their upcoming schedule suggests that it could. They play the winless Giants before facing Oakland, Denver and New England in their next four games, which will put us at the halfway point of the season.
There will be another stock report for this team at that time, but here are some observations for the Chargers from the first quarter of the season.
The team is 0-4, but it’s the way they’ve lost that is most alarming
We’ve mentioned many times at how close the Chargers have been to winning games, and they have. But the fact is, it doesn’t matter if you lose by one point or get blown out. In four games, the Chargers have lost by a total of 14 points. Yet they’re still 0-4.
What has been most troubling is the fact that these losses have come four different ways.
Younghoe Koo has been easy to blame and he clearly lost the game against Miami with his poor kicking. But in the season opener at Denver, it was a failure to block up front that led to a blocked field goal that would have sent the game into overtime. Had the Chargers won that game, it could have provided a new direction for the entire season.
Against Kansas City, the only team that remains undefeated, Philip Rivers turned the ball over at will and the Chargers still had a good chance to win that game. Most recently, and likely most worrisome, was the Philadelphia Eagles running all over them. The Chargers exhibited no ability to stop the run and that is something that every team that plays them going forward is going to look to exploit.
It’s not the kind of prediction that fans are going to want to hear, but unless things take a drastic turn, this is a three of four-win team this year.