The conclusion was not officially reached until Randy Bullock’s 41-yard field goal sailed between the uprights as time expired, but most San Diego Chargers fans knew Monday night’s 31-28 loss to the Houston Texans was determined earlier in the contest.
Even in the first, when it seemed all things were going in favor of the home team (Cam Thomas had an interception?!?!), there were signs San Diego was flawed.
The defensive line was consistently being pushed backward into the linebackers.
The offensive line was not creating lanes for the running backs.
There were a few dropped passes.
And, of course, the defense did not stop third-and-long situations. Houston gained 129 yards on third down, including conversions on third-and-18 and third-and-13. The Texans also gained 12 yards on a third-and-five, 27 on another third-and-five, and 13 on third-and-four.
The Chargers, in contrast, gained 116 yards on third down, but only converted one of the team’s six third downs in the second half.
There are some roster and talent deficiencies for San Diego, but the organization may be able to address those voids in the 2014 NFL Draft.
While the addition of Stanford offensive lineman David Yankey or linebacker Trent Murphy could be useful for the Chargers, watching the Cardinal dominate Army will be a boring waste of time.
Instead, here are five games that should be more competitive and include match-ups between NFL-ready players.