Philip Rivers looks refreshed this season. Coach Mike McCoy has the team moving with the right attitude. Young players like wide receiver Keenan Allen, Manti Te’o and D. J. Fluker gives the Chargers front-loaded talent that they hadn’t had in a while.
Still, the Chargers are feeling the lumps of trying to mesh together to put a viable product on the football field, which they have done this season.
The only problem is that there have been some hiccups along the way. The Chargers have lost lost close games that they could have easily won this season. The opening night defeat against the Houston Texans is one of the ones that the Chargers could get a redo on.
Ditto for the team’s inability to punch in the winning points on the road against the Washington Redskins at the end of regulation. The Chargers, of course, wound up losing that contest on a field goal in overtime. That had to be a long trip back to the West Coast.
After Sunday’s home defeat to Peyton Manning and AFC Division rival Denver Broncos, the Chargers can still put it together to run the table the rest of the year to get into the postseason. The good news about the loss, if there is any good news about losing, is the fact that the Chargers’ defense didn’t allow Manning to go buck wild against them, surrendering just 28 points.
Considering the Broncos are the NFL leaders in offense, and with Manning already claiming the league’s MVP trophy with the way he is playing this season, that’s pretty impressive stuff.
The Chargers impressed with the way the team competed against the Broncos, a team chosen by many to represent the AFC in the 2014 Super Bowl. What was not impressive was the way the Chargers’ defense allowed Demaryius Thomas to run through them. by them and around them as if he has Carl Lewis speed.
Well, truth be told, Thomas does have a little of jet engine running through his veins. The good thing about a long season is that a team has time to get it right as the postseason approaches. The Chargers are officially now in that boat with seven games remaining. Four of those seven games are AFC division contests against the hated Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs and the Broncos again.
Allen, who has been looking more and more like the steal of the 2013 NFL Draft, could be a crucial part of the Chargers making their final push for postseason play. The 6-foot-2, 211 pound reciever, who was a third-round selection by the Chargers, gives the team the big-time playmaker San Diego has missed since Vincent Jackson decided to take his talents to Florida to play for the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
What we see from this Chargers team is a different mindset than from the last couple of seasons. This team is a group of fighters. That was on display against the mighty, mighty Broncos when the Chargers rallied back from a 22-point hole to make it a game, despite Manning’s four touchdowns on the afternoon at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium.