Prior to this season I predicted that the Chargers would go 10-6 and 4-2 within the division. I did hedge a little by saying “with reasonable health.” News flash: the Chargers have not had reasonable health… But after that week 1 loss, I immediately started calling for head coach Mike McCoy to be fired.
Now why did I cut bait so quickly? The week 1 blown lead was the 8th time the McCoy-led Chargers blew a lead going back to the beginning of 2015. Previously, I had not put a whole lot of weight on the Chargers’ 2015 4-12 record. I attributed the 2015 carnage to the Chargers’ poor health, particularly on the OL. So I was eager to see how this team would fare in ’16. But as soon as I saw this team self-destruct in K.C. and remembered how frequently they did that in ’15, I concluded that McCoy was not the answer at head coach.
Combining the seven blown-lead losses from 2015 and the 4 or 5 winnable games that became losses from this year, and the McCoy-led Chargers have lost 12 games they could have or should have won. That’s not a statistic that can be covered up by the excuse of injuries. To reiterate; I gave McCoy a pass on ’15 until we saw the same thing in ’16.
So what do we have going forward?
Here is the remaining schedule:
@ Houston Texans
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
@ Carolina Panthers
vs. Oakland Raiders
@ Cleveland Browns
vs. Kansas City Chiefs
People have suggested that the San Diego Chargers can make the playoffs if they win out. But current Wild Card hopefuls Miami and Indianapolis have better records and have beaten the Chargers. And that doesn’t include divisional rivals Denver, Kansas City, and Oakland, who each have seven+ wins. The Chargers could win all six (they won’t) and still miss the playoffs because 10 wins would not be enough.
Here is what I think will happen, I think the Chargers will go either 2-4 or 3-3 down the stretch. That will be in part because of injuries (don’t forget: the Chargers just lost Brandon Mebane for the rest of the season and his loss might be the single most impactful injury the Chargers have had all season) and in part because of McCoy; they will lose games they should win.
After losing on Monday night to Oakland, Houston is desperate. And Lamar Miller rushed for 104 yards. How will Miller fare against a Chargers defense that lost its run-stopping anchor? I don’t think Texans’ QB Brock Osweiler is anything special, but he won’t necessarily need to be to beat the depleted Chargers squad. Every single game left on the schedule is a losable game considering the Chargers’ health and history of failing to be “up” for games. And that last part is on McCoy.
The Chargers still have a very talented roster. I am excited to see how well this roster can perform with reasonable health and a new head coach. I am equally eager to see what moves GM Tom Telesco makes this off-season, but it needs to begin with a new coach.
Thanks for reading.