The San Diego Chargers suffered a heartbreaking 20-17 defeat on Sunday afternoon, but not for lack of effort. The team was once again playing on in the Eastern Time Zone for an early game, this time versus the Tennessee Titans.
Excuses aside, it was still disappointing.
Philip Rivers did not have a great game, but he was solid with 20-of-24 on pass attempts for 184 yards and a touchdown. The team ran the ball effectively, but not as well as they would have hoped. In the end, it would be the defense that came up short in the fourth quarter.
While the offense didn’t score in the fourth quarter, the defense allowed 10 points, and that turned out to be the difference in the game.
The Chargers defense was short with Donald Butler being out and Manti Te’O yet to make an appearance. The Titans took full advantage with Chris Johnson rushing for 90 yards and Jake Locker running for 68 yards of his own.
This team appears to be made up of a group of fighters, and that bodes well for head coach Mike McCoy. They’re buying in to what he is selling. Rivers is turning the ball over less and the defense is playing better than expected.
But a loss is a loss, and there’s no space for moral victories in the win-loss column.
The most gut-wrenching aspect of this squad through three games is that while the Chargers currently sit at 1-2, they are just a couple plays away from being 3-0. In Week 4, the Dallas Cowboys come to town, and that will help to show whether or not the Bolts are good enough to keep the games interesting or are better than the prognosticators thought they were.
If the Chargers can win on Sept. 29, two of their next three games after that are very winnable. After the Cowboys visit, they have the Oakland Raiders, and two weeks later they face the Jacksonville Jaguars. In between, they have the Indianapolis Colts and potentially could go into their Week 8 bye at 4-3. That’s not an inspiring record, but a far cry from being the cellar-dwelling number most experts predicted.
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