The LA Chargers have a dismal 2-6 record, but that record doesn’t reflect how close many of their games have been. Fans are almost used to this type of play; the Chargers have long had difficulty winning close games. But the team hoped to turn things around when they drafted young quarterback, Justin Herbert from Oregon. Herbert has been a bright spot in the Chargers’ frustrating season.
The Chargers’ history
The Chargers have a long history marred with relocations and rumors of moving. Initially, part of the American Football League (AFL), the team got its start in Los Angeles in 1960. Their time in LA didn’t last long, and after one season in The City of Angeles, the team moved to San Diego. They became a part of the NFL during the 1970 AFL/NFL merger.
The Chargers made their only Super Bowl appearance in 1994, facing the San Francisco 49ers and losing 49-26 behind NFL legends Steve Young and Jerry Rice. That Chargers team featured future Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, who tragically died by suicide in 2012.
In 2017, after much speculation, the Chargers announced to the city of San Diego that they would be returning to their initial birthplace — Los Angeles. Because of low attendance at many home games, rumors flew that the NFL was considering moving them back to San Diego or even London.
Losing the close games
While the Chargers record this season is miserable, the stat that’s more concerning is the one from For the Win that states the Chargers are 3-13 in one-score games since the start of last season. So while it’s frustrating and heartbreaking for fans to endure losses by just a field goal or a touchdown, the team is also really good at blowing leads.
The same publication noted that the Chargers are the fifth team in NFL history to blow 17 point leads in back to back games. Maybe these horrific statistics account for why the team can’t fill up SoFi Stadium. The team seemed to finally snap its losing streak against the Las Vegas Raiders when Justin Herbert threw a touchdown pass to Roddy Ames. After review, it was ruled Ames did not catch the ball before time expired and chalked up another loss to the Chargers.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told My News LA, “I don’t know if it’s the right call or not, certainly I didn’t like it. I thought he caught the ball, and he had a knee and foot in-bounds. I thought it was a touchdown, but they overturned it.”
A season of hope with a new rookie quarterback
Besides the dismal statistics about losing close games and blowing leads, fans had high hopes for the Chargers this year. Selected sixth in the 2020 NFL Draft, Herbert led the Oregon Ducks to the Rose Bowl where he was named MVP. After an injury to Tyrod Taylor, Herbert took over and has thrown 181 passes for 2,146 yards.
His weekly improvement has fans talking about him being their franchise quarterback, something all teams need. While the Chargers record certainly doesn’t show it, Herbert has continually been solid through all their games. His ability to throw deep, even when pressure is the reason the Chargers can stay in many of their games. A stronger defense and special teams may be the keys to getting Herbert the help he deserves.
For now, Chargers fans have to hope that their curse of losing close games is coming to an end. With a quality quarterback, it’s only a matter of time before things start turning around.