Chargers should be turning to 2015 Lions for inspiration with Joe Lombardi

Jason Reed
Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp
Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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The LA Chargers are 6-6 on the season but have played far worse than 6-6. The Bolts have been bad on both sides of the ball, making them an incredibly frustrating and difficult team to watch.

While injuries have certainly played a factor, the coaching staff has also not done a good enough job of adjusting to these injuries. That was on full display in Week 13's loss to the Raiders, where the Chargers ran the offense like they had their entire starting offensive line when they were missing four of the five starters.

It has become impossible to defend Joe Lombardi and his operation. While there have been good moments (such as Week 12's two-point conversion) the overall philosophy, preparedness and tendency to make the same mistakes over and over all make it clear that this is not the man for the job.

And yet he has stuck around to this point and probably will stick around the rest of the season. The Chargers still have an outside chance of making the playoffs and keeping Lombardi in town is only hurting those chances. What makes it worse is that history shows the Chargers what can happen if they just make the move they probably should have already made.

The Chargers just need to look at the 2015 Detroit Lions for inspiration.

It is actually quite remarkable how history has repeated itself for Joe Lombardi. The complaints that Lions fans had back in 2014 and 2015 are nearly identical to the complaints that Chargers fans have had the last two seasons.

Both offenses were limited despite having great quarterbacks with great weapons to throw to. In both cases, the running game for both offenses was downright awful as well. This all makes Lombardi's case that much worse.

The Lions finally came to their senses after a 1-6 start to the 2015 season. Lombardi was one of several coaches fired after seven games that season and the results afterward were actually insane. The Lions offense and the team as a whole did nearly a complete 180.

Detroit was 1-6 and was averaging fewer than 20 points per game (19.9). After firing Lombardi, the Lions finished out with a 6-3 record and averaged 22.3 points per game. That still is not a great number but a jump in 2.4 points per game is significant. The Chargers would go from 14th to eighth with that same jump.

The rushing offense actually got going as well. The Lions averaged 68 rushing yards per game and 3.5 yards per attempt. After firing Lombardi, the Lions averaged 95 yards per game and 3.9 yards per attempt. That is a big difference.

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The Lions got noticeably better once Lombardi was no longer the one calling the shots. Would the same thing happen to the LA Chargers? Maybe. But it seems doubtful that the team makes any sort of change at offensive coordinator during the season, only extending Chargers fans' pain.

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