This is an interesting time for the San Diego Chargers. Their team finally ended a 6-game losing streak by ripping Jacksonville 38-14 on Monday Night Football. Philip Rivers finally looked like his old self, 22 of 28 passes for 294 yards, 3 touchdowns and most importantly, no turnovers. Lots of his attention went to Malcom Floyd, who's finally healthy and caught 4 balls for 108 yards, including a 52-yard touchdown. Even Ryan Mathews ran wild, going for 112 yards on a scant 13 carries.
It was the kind of dominant win we've expected all season, and since the Raiders lost on Sunday, the Bolts are just two games behind Oakland and Denver with four games to play. However, all this really does is make things even more confusing for Chargers fans.
Should they get excited about a potential, historic run to the playoffs? Or is it just another case of too little, too late from a franchise that's underachieved since, oh, about 1995? Here are the arguments on both sides of the issue.
WE SHOULD GET EXCITED:
Despite their stretch of playing horrible football for nearly two months, the Chargers seem to have figured out, as Philip Rivers said several times, "How to win a game." The schedule sets up well for them, with games against the Bills and Lions (both in free-fall themselves), the Ravens (who actually lost to the Jags and are offensively challenged), and the Raiders.
Meanwhile, the Raiders have to deal with the Packers on the road, the Lions and Chiefs before they host the Chargers. The Broncos get the reeling Bears, the Patriots, the Bills and the Chiefs.
Assuming the Chargers win the rest of their games (which has to happen anyway), and the Raiders lose to the Packers, and the Broncos lost to the Patriots, then anything can happen.
WE SHOULD SAVE OURSELVES THE HEARTACHE:
Great, they beat a 3-9 team on the week they fired their head coach. The only games the Chargers have won have been against teams with losing records (except the Broncos, but that was when Denver was 1-4 and Tim Tebow wasn't starting). As soon as another decent club like the Ravens comes to town the Chargers bubble will very likely burst.
Even if they do win out, and the Raiders lose to the Packers, they'd still need all kinds of help they probably won't get. Denver would have to lose two games, and one of them would have to be to the 5-7 Chiefs, who might ask Steve DeBerg to play QB soon. The first tiebreaker after head-to-head record is division record. The best the Chargers can do it 3-3. Denver is already 3-2. so they'd have to fall to Kansas City to even that out. It's all just too much, too many variables, and we should consider the season lost.
With the evidence presented here, which do you choose to believe?