In the preseason, some NFL writers thought the Chargers would end the Chiefs’ reign as AFC West champions.
But the season hasn’t been kind to Los Angeles, which has lost three straight games and is tied for last in the division with a 2-5 record.
If it sometimes seems like the Chargers lose in improbable ways, then Sunday’s 23-20 defeat at the Tennessee Titans was a doozy.
Los Angeles twice thought it had scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game only to have review overturn the scores. On a third attempt, running back Melvin Gordon fumbled at the goal line and the Titans recovered.
CBS Sports’ Will Brinson had this breakdown:
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has seen this sort of thing happen before.
“I feel like a broken record, I’ve said this so many times,” Rivers told reporters. “But I think it happens when you’ve been somewhere 16 years, right? You’re in situations, different ones. You’ve been through different years. And I know I’ve said this before — we’ll find out about our guys now.
“We thought last week was a tough test, coming off a ‘Sunday Night Football’ loss where we didn’t play very good. Now, losing like this, you’ll really find out. It’s easy to be a good teammate and say all the right things when things go good. But when you lose one like this at 2-5 and things look rough, we’ll find out about us, you know?We can wallow around and go 3-13 or 4-12 or we can rebound and get back in this thing.”
All five Chargers losses this season have been by 7 points or fewer.
The San Diego Tribune-Union noted that Rivers has thrown interceptions into the end zone this year and Chargers running backs have lost three fumbles at the goal line. That includes a huge one on Sunday.
“At the end we needed 1 yard to win this game, and we didn’t get it,” coach Anthony Lynn told reporters after the game. “You don’t get 1 yard, then you don’t deserve to win this damn game. That’s just the way it is. We needed 1 yard to win this game, and we let it slip out of our hands.”
The loss generated quite a bit of buzz on Twitter: