A 4-12 Season Ends
The game started out sloppy. In a nearly surreal first half, the defense was able to get four turnovers but were only able to get 6 points in the first half off of 93 yards of total offense. It is fortunate that the defense got the gifts from Osweiler, as the Broncos put up 280 yards of total yards in offense in the first half, but only had one TD to show for it.
The Denver offense did not look like it was trying to secure a divisional title, playoff bye, and playoff home game. After the 5th turnover (a fumble by Anderson), Osweiler was pulled in favor of Peyton Manning. Manning coming into the game seemed to wake up both offenses. A 7-6 game at half time turned into a 20-20 nail-biter by the early 4th quarter.
The Chargers, in what has become a too familiar sight this season, seemed to lose players to injury (especially offensive linemen) on every other play. That, and some early conservatism from McCoy, plus the injuries, hampered the team all afternoon. The capper was a late pick from Rivers that set-up former SDSU standout RB Ronnie Hillman for the game-winning score with less than 5 minutes to go. A last chance drive by the Bolts petered out before reaching the red zone. The Bolts lost 27-20, in a game that for at least the 8th time this season was a game that seemed to winnable.
The Offseason Begins
We know that this was the Bolts last game until September 2016. We also know that this was Malcom Floyd's last game as a professional football player. What we don't know is:
> Was this Mike McCoy's last game as the Charger's Head Coach?
> Was this Antonio Gates' last game as a Charger or a professional football player?
> Will either coordinator be back even if McCoy is retained?
And the biggest question of all...
Will any professional football be played in San Diego in 2016?
McCoy's fate should be known in another day or two, as well as that of Reich and Pagano. The return of Gates may not be known until nearly the start of the next season. And the first clues about the status of the NFL's San Diego franchise will be known by January 15, after the league meetings which start next week.