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A Look Back on the 2013-2014 Chargers season

January 12, 2014

The 2013-2014 San Diego Chargers season was a wild ride. As a fan it’s been tough to see a handful of last minute losses to start off the season (Houston, Tennessee, Washington) with some highlights along the way (Indy, KC part 1, NYG). With the completion of their loss against the Denver Broncos today, it’s hard to not look at the game as a microcosm for the season. At one point in the game, the Chargers trailed 17-0 and things looked hopeless. Likewise, here’s a progression of the Chargers regular season:

  • Week 6: 3-3
  • Week 13: 5-7
  • Week 17: 9-7

The Chargers were written off by just about everyone at the end of the 2012-2013 season. The firing of AJ Smith and Norv Turner gave hope to the fanbase, but expectations were low going into this season. Tom Telesco would replace AJ Smith as GM with Mike McCoy replacing Norv Turner. Their 2013 draft was considered a mixed bag. Fluker would help with the line issues. Most expected Te’o to be a bust, and Keenan Allen who?

Like most NFL teams, the Chargers faced numerous injuries losing their number 1 and number 2 wide receivers before the season was underway.  Throughout the pre-season the bad reviews kept coming. I remember reading articles and listening to reports discussing how the Chargers would be a 6-10 team at best. One article said the Chargers would be either 13-3 or 3-13, depending on how the new management handled things. Most articles described a Chargers’ team that could replicate last season’s 7-9 as being a successful first campaign for the new regime. I looked for awhile but couldn’t find anyone predicting a winning season for the Chargers.

So the regular season got underway with more injuries. The offensive line turned into a revolving door. The linebacker corps turned into a bunch of players that Chargers’ fans had never heard of and along the way they added this guy to the down three. In a way, the team reminded me a lot of the 2010 team that went 9-7 while using a record-tying number of players. Of course, the 2010 Chargers missed the playoffs. The 2013 Chargers squeezed in.

The 2013-2014 team hopefully shows a turnaround in Chargers football. Ryan Mathews set a personal record for total rushing yardage. Philip Rivers showed a return to expectations finishing 5th in the NFL in passing yards and 4th in QB Rating. Keenan Allen finished with over 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie and is a serious contender for Offensive Rookie of the Year.

At the end of the day, it’s easy to be hard on the Chargers. It’s easy to be a fairweather fan. It’s easy to say, “well, they choked in the playoffs again.” But let’s not forget that this is a team that many NFL pundits wrote off at the beginning of the season. This was a team that finished the 2012 season in a decline that most didn’t expect to turnaround until at least 2015. This is a team where a 7-9 record would’ve been considered a success.

Taking a rookie GM and a rookie head coach a game away from the AFC Championship is something that this year’s Chargers team can be proud of. Did they bring home the Lombardi? No. Did they take a huge step in the right direction? Absolutely.

One Comment leave one →
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