Peaks And Valleys Of Being A Chargers Fan

Los Angeles Chargers Safety Derwin James. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network
Los Angeles Chargers Safety Derwin James. Photo Credit: Ryan Dyrud | LAFB Network

Being a Chargers fan is not for the emotionally weak. Sadly, what happened this past Monday vs the Saints was not an anomaly, it is a recurring thing for the Chargers that has been happening over the past few years. The sequence of events that occurred in the final minute of regulation perfectly epitomizes the emotional journey of Chargers fans. Justin Herbert makes a great throw which results in an even more incredible catch by Mike Williams to put the Chargers in field goal position to win the game as the clock expires. This had Charger fans probably jumping and screaming with the opportunity to kick a 50-yard FG in an indoor stadium with no fans and win on an upset in primetime. What ensues is a missed FG and then a loss in OT which had Charger fans once again dejected.  

The Chargers became the first team in the last 17 years to blow two 17 point leads two weeks in a row. In addition, since 2010, the Saints became just the 4th team to overcome a 17 point deficit in a Monday Night Football game, three of those occurred vs the Chargers.

The emotional rollercoaster exists in the fact that both games were vs Super Bowl Contending teams in the Bucs and Saints and that the Chargers looked like the better team for the majority of the game, teasing the faithful just for it to come crashing down to the ground. At least for other teams, like the New York Jets, they start off the game bad and end bad so there is nothing to get excited about besides the draft, however, each Chargers game has fans out of their seats screaming while also throwing their head in their hands in frustration. 

All 4 of the Chargers losses this season have been by one score or less and each game the Chargers had every opportunity to win which makes the emotional rollercoaster that much greater for a fan. In fact, since the start of last year, the Chargers are 3-13 in one-score games. That’s the difference between a division championship and a #1 overall pick in the draft. The Chargers always find a new way to lose whether it’s an untimely turnover, a missed FG, missed extra point, or just simply blowing huge leads, the result is always the same, a loss. 

While the 1-4 record and the countless bitter losses sting, there are some positives that keep Chargers fans excited and optimistic, specifically the incredible growth and production of rookie Justin Herbert who was expected by many to not even play this year. So far Herbert is looking like the best rookie in the class and has all the makings of a future star and there is a lot to be excited about.

Out of the 4 weeks he has started, including one where he found out minutes before kick-off, he has won Pepsi Rookie of the Week 3 times. He is the only player to have won it more than once this year. Despite playing one fewer game, Herbert is 2nd and just 13 yards behind Russell Wilson for most passing yards under pressure showcasing his ability to remain composed despite an injury-ravaged offensive line and loads of pressure. He is top 5 in yards/attempt among QBs with at least 100 attempts, he had the 2nd most passing yards in NFL history in a players’ first 4 games, he was the first player since 1954 to have a rushing and passing TD in the first half of an NFL debut, he is tied with Carr and Rodgers for the longest pass this season, and all in all, statistically, for the most part, he has looked the part of a top 10 QB. All of this is despite Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and the majority of the offensive line missing some time as well as a defense missing a number of starters. 

While the story really hasn’t changed when it comes to the Chargers and winning games and while heartbreak has become a norm, the Chargers also have a sense of happiness knowing they might be set for years to come at the QB position as long as they don’t mess it up, and find a way to win games. While Dean Spanos is not responsible for the well being of Charger fans’ health, he would be helping a lot of people by figuring out if changes need to be made in the front office and coaching to help close the deal.