BOLTHYPE blogger Jeff Williams has some doubts about the Chargers Super Bowl chances this year. Is he being too reactionary, or does history show us that Jeff has legitimate cause for concern?
(Photo Credit: Mike Nowak/San Diego Chargers)
The year is 2007, with the Chargers coming off a bitter playoff loss to the New England Patriots. The Chargers enter a new season with a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator, and hopes of finally going all the way. The Chargers start the season with a close game against Chicago, winning by a score of 14-3 (a game much closer than the score implied), before losing the next three in a row. At 1-3, the Chargers were off to a slow and disappointing start, but eventually made the playoffs...but no Super Bowl.
Fast forward to 2008. The Chargers start the season with back-to-back heartbreakers, losing to Carolina and Denver in the closing minutes of each game. They eventually went 2-2, and then 4-8, before finally squeaking into the playoffs. Again, no Super Bowl.
Now, in 2009, the Chargers begin the season 1-0, winning a game they had every right to lose. Overall the Raiders' running game looked better, their defense looked better, and were it not for the silver and black joker behind center, the Chargers would likely be sitting at 0-1. Next up are three-straight games against 2008 playoffs teams, two of which beat us last year.
I bring this up because I have this sense of deja vu that I can't seem to shake. Normally a 1-0 start is not something you should gripe about, yet Chargers fans sure feel like griping. My problem is that we have seen this before. Slow starts, lackluster efforts and disappointing losses have plagued us the previous two seasons, and if game 1 this season is any indication, we're in for more of the same. In 2007 and 2008 we heard every excuse in the back for why the Chargers seemed to be starting so slowly (something I call slow-starteritis). Maybe there is no more room for excuses. Maybe it's time for the team to start playing for the postseason in September, rather
The good news? The Chargers will once again find a way to win the division and reach the playoffs. The bad news? This team will not be going to the Super Bowl.
Some may call me negative, some may call this prediction a bit premature, but all I have to go by is history. And if history is destined to repeat itself, it sure seems to be following a familiar timeline.
Don't think I'm giving up on the team, and don't think that I have lost all hope in a Super Bowl dream. The next 3 games will tell us a lot about this team, but even losses to any or all of these teams doesn't automatically eliminate us from post-season contention. Last year's 8-8 team proved to us that anything can happen. In fact, last year's Super Bowl champs had a losing record against playoff teams in the regular season and seemed to do alright when it counted the most. So again, anything happen. Let's hope that anything that happens to the Chargers includes some major improvement on the field.
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