Many of the fans in San Diego have lost hope in their beloved Chargers. A season that started with hopes of greatness has crashed and burned into a heap of rubble at the feet of A.J. Smith.
There are many contributing factors that have resulted in the Chargers losing six straight: coaching, quarterbacking, general managing and dropping to 4-7 on the season.
Yet, the Chargers are still in it? No, they couldn't be...
While it seems unlikely, there are a couple factors working in the Chargers' favor.
Let's take a look.
Despite the fact that he is having the worst season of his career, Philip Rivers still has the Chargers top five in passing yardage (276.1 ypg). This seems like a moot point given the fact that he has turned over the ball 23 times, but it remains a fact that Rivers is still the best QB in the AFC West.
It will be tough for Rivers to find much time to throw the rest of the season, with three of two of his three Pro Bowl offensive lineman out for the season. In addition, Malcom Floyd has been invisible for another season, making me wonder why we even re-signed the guy.
If the Chargers are going to make a comeback this season, it will be on the back of this man.
The funny thing about 2011 is that it looks a whole lot like 2008. Actually, in 2011, the Chargers are, technically, still in better shape than they were in 2008 when they trailed the Broncos by four games with four game remaining.
To keep this short, let's look at how the Chargers beating out the Raiders.
Now, let's assume (huge assumption) that the Chargers win out and end the season 9-7.
The Raiders must travel to Miami, Green Bay and Kansas City. They stand a good chance to lose two, if not three of these games. Miami has played great at home, Green Bay is...Green Bay (cold) and Kansas City (really Cold) in December may be the toughest place to play in the league.
Now, the Chargers still need a lot of help, but nothing is impossible after watching that 2008 collapse of the Broncos.
The plain and simple fact is that the Chargers, in addition to having the best QB in the division, have the best collection of offensive weapons in the AFC West. Yes, this is sort of pointless given that they are a measly 4-7, but that doesn't change the facts: the Chargers are still very dangerous on offense.
Take a look at these names: Antonio Gates (Best TE in the AFC), Ryan Mathews (seventh most yards from scrimmage in the NFL), Vincent Jackson (Best WR in the AFC West. Props to Dwayne Bowe.).
If the Chargers are going to win these last five games, they will need these guys to produce like they are capable of producing.
The season is going to come down to the Ravens game in three weeks. This will be the test that lets the Chargers fanbase know if the season still has hope.
The Chargers' two most difficult games remaining on the schedule come at home against the Ravens and Bills.
If the Chargers beat the Jaguars on Monday Night Football and the Raiders lose, I think the fanbase will be out in full force for the Bills and Ravens games.
While it seems like many have lost faith, the Chargers are still fielding a very competitive team. The fans know this and will need to be out at the game. Disagree with me all you want, but if you are a real Chargers fan, and many of you readers are, you will be at one of these games.
Even if the Chargers' run at dominance is over, they have put on quite a show for the last decade.
All good things must come to an end.