It was supposed to be the year the Los Angeles Chargers showed us they were something different.
In the end, they showed us exactly what they’ve always been. A team that always seems to turn promise and potential into incredible disappointment.
Their season ended in stunning fashion on Saturday night in a 31-30 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars that saw them lose one of the biggest leads in NFL playoff history.
It continues what has been one of the most tortured franchises and fanbases in modern NFL history.
Every year we go through the same cycle with them. We see a team that has a franchise quarterback, be it Drew Brews, Phillip Rivers or Justin Herbert, and a roster that looks like a contender on paper. Every year, we consider them a playoff lock or a potential Super Bowl team.
And then it turns into nothing.
And it’s not like it’s a team that keeps getting closer, knocking on the door and failing through bad luck. They never get close. Since the start of the 2010 season, they have only three playoff appearances and only two playoff wins.
Nearly 25 years of three of the most talented quarterbacks in recent league history has produced no Super Bowl appearances and one appearance in an AFC championship game.
It’s always something different. Sometimes bad special teams or bad luck ruin a great offense and defense. Sometimes it’s injuries. Sometimes it’s coaching.
That last issue seems to be the issue now, as Brandon Staley continues to look over his head for just two years on the job. His aggressiveness cost the Chargers a handful of games last year to miss the playoffs altogether. This year, his decision to play starters in a meaningless game cost him Mike Williams for the playoffs.
It’s an endless cycle.
Faces and names change.
The results always remain the same.