This year was supposed to be different. The Los Angeles Chargers were arguably the most talented team in the AFC, they were a sexy Super Bowl pick and the clear favorites to win their division. Then the season came and ended where it often has in the past, with a humiliating performance in the postseason.
The Chargers have left San Diego for Los Angeles, but as we learned Sunday, they're still the same underachieving franchise they've always been.
While the final score made things look relatively respectable, let's be real: the Chargers got annihilated by the New England Patriots on Sunday. It was flat-out embarrassing. LA didn't belong on the field with Tom Brady's bunch. The Pats led the Bolts 35-7 at halftime and spent the second half taking the air out of the ball and cruising to a 41-28 win. It was a joke of a game.
The Chargers were ill-prepared, poorly-coached, had no discipline, horrific execution and failed to show fight. They lost the game before even taking the field. It was the same recipe San Diegans have seen repeatedly in the postseason for decades. When your franchise is run by incompetent boobs, this is how things will end on a yearly basis.
A franchise rots from the head down, and the Chargers have been rotten since shortly after Dean Spanos took over from his father Alex in the mid-90s. Despite occasional highs, things always end with profound disappointment.
This is the same franchise that went 14-2 in 2006, then fired its head coach (Marty Schottenheimer) only to replace him with Norv Turner. Norv. Freaking. Turner. Then they kept Turner around for six years despite mediocre-at-best results. And don't even get me started on the excruciating four years that were the Mike McCoy era.
The franchise's move to Los Angeles has been a disaster thus far and the team's only hope was to make it to a Super Bowl and somehow have a bunch of new fans jump on the bandwagon. With the Los Angeles Rams headed to the NFC Championship Game, the Chargers' chance to grab some momentum in their new city has vanished thanks to Sunday's loss.
A lot was made of whether or not San Diego would support the Chargers if they somehow made it to Super Bowl LIII. Maybe the team had a chance to win back some disaffected fans if they made it that far. No one has to worry about that anymore. If anything, San Diegans suffering from football's version of PTSD were having flashbacks watching Sunday's beatdown.
The Chargers have changed cities but they haven't really changed. And they never will.