The Chargers did it again on Sunday.
They built up a lead, put themselves in position to win a game and then watched as the Ravens scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to emerge with a victory. It’s a recurring theme in San Diego, one that left linebacker Takeo Spikes “distraught” after the game came to an end. Linebacker Jarret Johnson noted the Ravens’ 5-1 record in games decided by one score and called them a team that just knows how to win.
The Chargers? Johnson said they were “the opposite” of that.
“It’s just really frustrating because we’ve shown we can play. I’ve been on bad teams, riddled with injuries, bad guys, dysfunctional. This team is every bit the opposite of that,” Johnson said, via the North County Times. “We’ve shown we’re a talented team, offensively and defensively. And at the same time, we’ve turned around and proven time and again that we just don’t know how to win.”
It’s hard to argue with Johnson’s take. The Chargers are 1-4 in one-score games this year, including losses in each of the last two weeks that have left them only technically alive in the fight for playoff spots. The offense scored just three points in the second half, a problem finishing games that has plagued the unit all year, and the defense continually gave up third down conversions (and one big fourth down conversion) to keep the Ravens in business.
That’s a blueprint for losing in the NFL and it is one that the Chargers appear to be powerless to overcome as currently constructed. The first step in changing that will likely be the departure of coach Norv Turner, but the bloodletting doesn’t figure to stop there. It should be an offseason of major change in San Diego if they want to avoid more distraught locker rooms in the future.