I'll admit it. Heading into last night's game, I was rooting for the San Diego Chargers to lose. As far as I'm concerned, the root of the Bolts' problems are in their foundation. The whole damn things needs to be torn down, as least as much as possible, and built back up. The easiest way to do that is with high draft picks, which means rooting for losses.
However, with an impressive showing by the offense last night against a decimated Jacksonville Jaguars team, many people are getting their hopes up for 2011 once again. Let's take a quick look back at who the Chargers have beaten, who they've lost to, and who is left before we decide if there's any room for lady luck in the AFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs
Not an impressive bunch of victories right there. Think about this: The only one of those teams playing with the same QB that they started with is Jacksonville, who lost more because of their defense. Chad Henne was the starter for Miami when they lost, McNabb was the starter for the Vikings and Kyle Orton started the game for the Broncos where they lost to the Chargers. No real wins over good teams.
New England Patriots
New York Jets
Kansas City Chiefs
Green Bay Packers
San Diego had rather unfortunate timing on most of these games. They caught the Packers, Patriots, Bears, Broncos and Chiefs at the worst possible time. Two weeks later and the Chargers could've been facing Caleb Hannie or Tyler Palko.
Outside of the Chiefs, who started slow and faded fast after a few consecutive wins, each of these teams has a winning record and is fighting for a chance to win their division. The Chargers, who have played like an average team this season, have seemingly lost to every good team that they've matched up against and beaten every bad one.
Buffalo Bills (5-7)
Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
Detroit Lions (7-5)
Oakland Raiders (7-5)
The Bills seem like an easy win at this point, losing so many starters to injury that they're not unlike the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Ravens have an impressive record and impressive victories, but have lost to the Titans, Seahawks and Jaguars. Each of those were road games, where they're 3-3 with wins against the Steelers, Rams and Browns. Could the team that showed up to those losses show up in San Diego in a week and a half? Absolutely.
Who knows where the Lions are right now. After starting out 5-0, they've gone 2-5. Their start defensive player was suspended for two games and then crashed his car and lied about it. Jahvid Best is on IR after having a very good first 6 weeks of the season. They seem completely undisciplined on and off the field, and are on the verge of a meltdown that could easily lead to them dropping a game to the Chargers. Unfortunately, it could also lead to them dropping a game to the Raiders the week before.
The last game of the season, Chargers/Raiders, has the potential to be the most fun game of the season in the AFC. If the Broncos stop winning every game and the division is left in the hands of that game, all eyes will be on Oakland for that one. Unfortunately, for that to happen the Chargers need the Raiders to lose at least 1 of their next 3 games but more realistically need them to lose 2 of their next 3. That gets tough when you see that their next 3 opponents are the Packers, Lions and Chiefs.
So, could it happen? Yes. Would it be a 2008-like miracle for Norv Turner and the Chargers? Yes. Would it save Norv's job? Probably not, but if they won a few playoff games it might. Remember that the 2010 Green Bay Packers, before making the playoffs, needed to win their last two games (including a last-week matchup against the Bears) to get in.
This team is not officially done yet. I suppose we can all hold out hope for a little while longer, since San Diego showed us a team that might actually be worth rooting for.