Chargers blew a chance at the AFC West in typical Charger fashion

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Philip Rivers (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 16: Quarterback Philip Rivers (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers headed into their primetime Saturday Night game with one mission: win the AFC West. Then they remembered who they were.

I love the Los Angeles Chargers, I really do. LaDainian Tomlinson was my hero growing up. As much as I love the team, you begin to learn how to hate them as well. Saturday night was a reminder of that hatred, that disappointed. The Los Angeles Chargers dropped the contest 30-13 to the Kansas City Chiefs.

It all started with the inability to capitalize on a muffed punt. The Chargers had an easy scoop and score on a botched punt that resulted in Kansas City retaining the ball. Although Kansas City only got three points on the board, it set the ball in motion.

After jumping to a 13-10 lead the Chargers were absent the rest of the game. Philip Rivers threw a ridiculous interception into double coverage that was blamed on Tyrell Williams’ route. Austin Ekeler coughed up the football after a promising start to the next drive.

The defense did what it could to keep the Chargers in the game but ultimately could not reprimand all of the offense’s mistakes. Thus, the team’s hot streak and four-game win streak came to an end. The path to an AFC Wild Card is difficult. The path to the AFC West title is near impossible.

And of course, it happened in typical Charger fashion. After the team started 0-4 many fans were ready to give up on the season. Tanking seemed like the best route and the Chargers simply could not get anything going.

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Then came a 7-2 hot streak that led to some calling them the most dangerous team in the AFC West. A scary pass-rush and good secondary led to a sneaky good defense. Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen began to fire on all cylinders.

Then, of course, when LA had the chance to prove themselves in primetime they get slaughtered. They play sloppy. This is not the same Chargers team that was running with a four-game winning streak. Instead, it was the Chargers that the fans know and love.

Was there a healthy serving of injuries? Absolutely. Did that play a factor? Without a doubt. Still, there were so many mistakes in this game that were inexcusable. A hot streak ends like this; without a fight.

Now, the season is not over yet for the Chargers, but they need some help. With the final two games of the season against the Raiders and Jets, Los Angeles likely will finish 9-7. However, they need both the Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens to lose two of their last three.

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Buffalo faces the Patriots and Dolphins twice. With one loss virtually guaranteed the Chargers need the Dolphins to beat the Bills just once; it’s possible. The Ravens play the Browns, Colts and Bengals; all awful teams. Unless a miracle happens and the Ravens/Chiefs blow their season, the Chargers playoff hopes are over.