This is as meaty a topic as I’ve taken on during my brief stint here at Bleacher Report. I have found the last eight seasons to be the most frustrating of all my 33 years as Charger fan. Yes, that includes a 1-15 campaign and a pair of 4-12 seasons.
How can this be?
Like so many others, I fell under the spell of the “Air Coryell” Bolts in the late 1970s. Unfortunately, the post-Fouts hangover was a nasty one and it took until the mid-1990s for the Chargers to get back to the playoffs. That was nothing compared to the Ryan Leaf-Craig Whelihan-Moses Moreno era that followed. In 2004, the Bolts went from 4-12 the previous season to 12-4 and back to the top of the AFC West.
They melted down in the playoffs that season and it was due to more than kicker Nate Kaeding’s miss. It took a late hit on fourth-and-goal by Eric Barton for “Tweety” to even have the chance to choke. It became clear from 2005-2009 that the Bolts were actually talented and that their first division title in 10 seasons wasn’t a fluke.
Sadly, it was also evident that they weren’t good enough to get to a Super Bowl, let alone win one.