Chargers Post Game: Worst in the League

With the season on the brink for the San Diego Chargers, they came up short heading into the bye week with a 27-21 loss to Jacksonville. The Bolts now own the worst record in the league at 0-5 and the bye week to simmer over the losses or come back with passion for the rest of the season. Based on the past, it doesn't look good for the future.

Marty Schottenheimer came into the game 0-2 vs. the Jaguars, but he brought a new team with him, a team that has never faced Jacksonville, until this past Sunday. They still lost.

The momentum swing started on the Chargers first possession of the second half. The Bolts were driving and Antonio Gates fumbled inside the Jacksonville ten. The Jaguars came back and scored, taking a 10-7 game to 17-7.

"The one that was really critical is we are moving the ball to open the second half down there and the young man gets the ball knocked out," said Schottenheimer. We are in a position where certainly we are going to tie the game if not take the lead, but we turned it over and if you turn it over in this league, you are going to pay the consequences."

Marcellus Wiley talked about, "catching that fire, that fever."

They still have not showed that fire. The defense came up with three big stops in the fourth quarter without any emotion and the Chargers could not do anything to close the gap and rally behind the play. 0-5 on the season and losers of nine in a row.

"The disappointing thing to me is we have to develop a mentality that existed on our football team with about five minutes to go in the third quarter," said Schottenheimer. "They got the ball and we held them to a field goal, they got the ball and we held them and they punted, we got the ball we scored. And that has to prevail for 60 minutes."

Four consecutive series the Chargers defense was stout. Three and outs each time with a field goal gimmie on the first series, after a turnover.

Kassim Osgood shows the most emotion on the team and he has no business being the most spirited guy on the field when he can't hold on to a ball and take a hit. Lorenzo Neal had some emotion, but it was not infectious. It appears that the team doesn't care.

"We are not putting that kind of production and performance together for 60 minutes and the obvious end result, we stand here at 0-5. It comes from everybody," said Schottenheimer. "It has to be everybody."

Damion McIntosh talked before the game about, "making our mark this game and finishing it off."

McIntosh didn't even finish the game; he was benched in favor of Courtney VanBuren, a rookie. Each player either never started the game or didn't finish it in his own way.

"That is the challenge we face," Schottenheimer said. "We are going to find a way to play 60 minutes of football with an attitude."

With the clock winding down and a crucial third down and seven, Fred Taylor rode a screen pass to the house. One play with the Chargers only down by six. It's all a series of "one play" and the Chargers are not matching up on offense, defense or special teams.

"That screen broke our backs," said an emotional Jason Fisk. "We are a much better team than what we are putting on the field."

Now the bye week looms.

"You have to approach coming back as the start of a new season," Fisk said.

Not a bad idea, a new season with 11 games on the schedule.

Notes:

The only player to backup his play was David Boston. Boston had 14 catches for 181 yards with two TDs. Boston told channel 8 San Diego that he was happy to be back on the field, "to continue what I love to do, but we came up short today. I was anxious and eager to get back on the field. I let my teammates down last week."

He didn't let them down this week. He was dominant, his fumble aside. He could not do it alone. The rest of the team had just 10 receptions and only four went to the other Chargers receivers.

Denis Savage can be reached at safage@cox.net

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