Overreaction #5: If the LA Chargers cannot beat the Carolina Panthers without Christian McCaffrey, they have no shot at making the playoffs in 2020
In Week 3, the LA Chargers fell to a team that was expected to be last in the NFC South that was playing without their clear top player.
A natural gut reaction to losing to one of the worst teams in the league is assuming that your team is one of the worst in the league.
To be clear, if the Chargers play like they did in Week 3, with all of their turnovers, costly penalties, coaching mistakes, drops, and poor offensive line play, then the Chargers can expect to lose most of the rest of their games in 2020 and have no chance of sniffing the playoffs.
However, this loss needs to be taken with a lot of context, as there were several positives in this game.
The defense proved it is excellent by holding the Panthers’ offense from scoring a touchdown in the red zone time five times (which would have been six if not for a special teams penalty).
The offense killed itself this week by making mistakes, which were primarily from young players who should improve as the season moves along. Justin Herbert had two turnovers (one of which was a poor call in the eyes of many), while Joshua Kelley had a turnover of his own. While some mistakes may happen week-to-week, the offense was generally effective outside of these major mistakes.
On top of these mistakes, the Chargers had several mental errors that are correctable, and Anthony Lynn will be certain to fix in future weeks. While Lynn has not always made the Chargers winners in his career, he has been sure to keep players accountable for their mistakes and works to eliminate them throughout the season.
On top of all of this, it is important to keep in mind that the NFL is full of talented teams. At this level, any team has a chance to beat any other team on any given week. Had the lateral between Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler on the last play of the game been better, this would have been an entirely different conversation.
This was clearly a bad loss, but it says nothing about the Chargers’ prospects for the rest of the season. Next week is a new week, and new opportunities and challenges await.
Verdict #5: Overreaction