Spanos rhymes with Thanos: The Los Angeles Chargers have reverted wiping out at least half their games, half of their seasons, and half their fans. Here’s the case for the fans firing the owners.
The Chargers, 12-4 last season, stumble, fumble and bumble to 5 and 11 in 2019. When visiting fans outnumber Bolts fans 4-1, as the Oakland Raiders did in the last home game of the season, the “Battle for L.A.” is a painful joke.
There were glaring shortcomings that were prominent all season long. Problems that leadership did not address. Those in authority must bear responsibility. Players can also shoulder some responsibility (talking to you, Melvin Gordon), and of course the coaches — but what about the GM? Tom Telesco has had years to build his team, and what he has fashioned is 5-11.
But who hired the GM? It was the same ownership that fired Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 season. If Spanos’ retain head coach Anthony Lynn after sinking to 5-11, you have to laugh at their hubris (fatal pride), their unwillingness to admit mistakes in hiring.
Do you not find it amazingly coincidental that the two people who were most qualified for two of the three top jobs in the organization just happen to be sons of the owner? That’s called nepotism, and it’s a disease that attacks the central nervous system of all kinds of organizations and rots them out.
Here are four questions that go all the way up the chain of command.
Question: Who is responsible for the chain of paper dolls that is the Chargers’ offensive line?
Is it Telesco? Is it head cheerleader — er, head coach Lynn? In a post-game speech after their final game in Oakland, Lin said the offensive line held up well. In fact, the line itself was HELD UP, at gunpoint, by the Raiders. Five sacks. Constant pressure on Philip Rivers.
When the Raiders got consistent pressure rushing just four and not blitzing, they had the personnel left to clog the first 15 yards: Rivers could not dink and dunk, he had to wait for players to get separation 15 yards and out — and his 0-line would too often collapse before then.
Dumb and Dumber, Trent Scott and Dan Feeney, put their shortcomings on display in the final game of the season in Kansas City.
What’s even dumber is that year after year the Chargers do not carry enough offensive linemen on the roster, and when the inevitable injuries come, there IS no next man up.
Question: Are Rivers’ interceptions the biggest problem?
Or has Rivers simply had to try, for far too long, to win games singlehandedly — while being overwhelmed? Rivers has had two seasons prior in his career that were just as bad for turnovers.
He bounced back in both cases. Leadership will not admit to personnel failures on the O-line, because they made those decisions, and they charged into 2019 like the Light Brigade: cavalry against machine guns.
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Question: Who can explain the Chargers’ chronic plague of injuries?
Someone with access to NFL injury stats should compare the Chargers ratio of players/games lost to injury with other teams. For years, the Chargers seem to have an epidemic of injuries.
Question: Who takes responsibility for the first-round draft whiff on Jerry Tillery?
For example, did you hear Tillery’s name called even once during the broadcast from Oakland a few weeks back? Of 15 Chargers who made tackles in the final Oakland game, Tillery ranked 15th, with only two assists.
In the Spanos era, over 36 years, the Chargers had only 14 winning seasons, and made it to a Super Bowl once, 25 years ago, and went to the AFC championship only one other time. Spanos family, don’t waste the next decade trying to prove you were right. The fans have voted with their feet…