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Chargers can’t explain how they blew huge lead

San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy, center, and staff watch the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate after an overtime win in an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) AP

When Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett intercepted an Alex Smith pass inside Chiefs territory early in the fourth quarter, it was hard to see a way that the game ended with anything but a San Diego win.

It was 27-10 Chargers and they didn’t need to do much to extend that lead after Verrett’s pick, but that takeaway would prove to be the last good moment of the game for Mike McCoy’s team. Josh Lambo missed a 54-yard field goal after the offense failed to move the ball and the Chiefs would score 23 straight points for a 33-27 overtime win in front of a frenzied Arrowhead Stadium crowd.

“It’s unacceptable,” Chargers tackle Joe Barksdale said, via the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We’ve got to close it. They know it. We were beating their [rear ends]. That’s why I’m so [angry].”

Defensive end Corey Liuget and left tackle King Dunlap were among the Chargers who were unable to come up with answers for a collapse that affected all three phases of the game. Coach Mike McCoy didn’t offer any answers either, saying he needs to watch the film of the game in a response that’s not likely to be well-received in San Diego given the timid similarities to previous losses under McCoy’s watch.

Quarterback Philip Rivers correctly pointed out that there are 15 more games to play this season after the collapse was complete. Rivers said it was “good news,” although some Chargers fans might feel it’s also a threat.

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26 Responses to “Chargers can’t explain how they blew huge lead”
  1. otistaylor89 says: Sep 12, 2016 6:57 AM

    I can pintpoint it – they aren’t very good.

  2. trevor190 says: Sep 12, 2016 7:03 AM

    Completely abandoning the running game WHEN WINNING BIG, for a start. Exactly the same with New Orleans.

  3. MichaelEdits says: Sep 12, 2016 7:18 AM

    If you can’t explain it, maybe a change in coaching would help.

  4. sd619tripleog says: Sep 12, 2016 7:19 AM

    It’s because they’ve taken on the identity of their head coach (which is an extension of the ownership). This is not the first huge lead McCoy has blown nor will it be his last, same goes for the Spanoses. He’s too predictable, has no idea when to use his timeouts and Pagano has zero excuses left as well. But of course they’ll have a game or two where everything comes together and the fans will be stuck watching the same thing happen each and every season…gotta love the ineptitude of san diego sports.

    At least I had Ware on my fantasy squad.

  5. jbholcom says: Sep 12, 2016 7:19 AM

    I can, it’s the Chargers!

  6. joetoronto says: Sep 12, 2016 7:20 AM

    I think that picture says it all.

  7. medialovesthecowboys says: Sep 12, 2016 7:25 AM

    McCoy seems to be an awful coach.
    Rivers has ALWAYS been overrated.

    San Diego isn’t going to do anything this year.

  8. kcflake says: Sep 12, 2016 7:44 AM

    LOL. Go Chiefs.

  9. simplec72 says: Sep 12, 2016 7:53 AM

    Hey Phillip Rivers, there are 15 more games left, however every team in your division won.

  10. nicklincoln says: Sep 12, 2016 8:28 AM

    I’ve followed the Chargers from the UK since 1986. This might sound like hyperbole but I really can’t remember a more painful, more inept loss.

    Losing Keenan Allen to a probable ACL tear is bad enough. But a well-coached team, with a marquee quarterback, just has to overcome it. It CANNOT blow a 24-3 lead.

    But it did. We have a marquee QB. What we don’t have is a well-coached team. McCoy played the second-half not to lose, so of course the Chargers lost. Everything good they were doing in the first half (feeding the ball to Gordon, especially) was dumped in the second.

    If ever a coach should be fired after the season opener then this is the time to do it.

  11. chargersdiehard says: Sep 12, 2016 8:39 AM

    Ahhh the Chargers…year after year, game after game.

  12. priestlightning says: Sep 12, 2016 9:19 AM

    I hate to say it but the season is already lost. I dont think you can bounce back from a loss like this on opening day, in terms of both the demoralizing nature of the loss itself coupled with the loss of our best player. And dont get confused, Keenan Allen is our best player. Even more important than Philip Rivers. Speaking of Rivers, horrible coaching notwithstanding, I feel he needs to be traded to a quarterback-needy team and we really need to start over. Get maybe a 2nd out of him. I’ve seen him lose confidence way too many times throughout his career to know that he isnt the answer. He is vastly overrated and I dont feel like hes even close to being a top ten quarterback. Mike Mccoy needs to go. I was thinking the other day that if I made a top ten list of coaches that dont inspire me, Mccoy would be at or near the very top of that list. We need a hard reboot and its going to be in LA. The season is lost already before it really even began. Its too bad because I feel like we had a really fun and unique team this year.

  13. TedHurtz says: Sep 12, 2016 9:20 AM

    these players really need to stop blaming themselves and look at their management. mccoy is a eunich, working for THE worst owner in the league.

    that said – it was nice to watch a game that was fairly called, albeit a few missed calls. such a change from thursday nights fixed game.

  14. newencinitasnetwork says: Sep 12, 2016 10:05 AM

    McCoy got a contract extension because Spanos thought it better for the transition to Los Angeles; the players don’t respect him, the press hates him, for good reasons and the teams talents are being wasted, 85 is 36 for cryin’ out loud! Please remove McCoy and let Whisenhunt take over. Remember, Spanos is the same guy who backed Beathard over Bobby Ross, A.J. over Marty and Los Angeles over San Diego. My wife came in to the Man Cave at half-time and was pleased to see the score; I reminded her that the year before last on a Thursday night, Peyton Manning was down at the half 24 to 0; and again my wife thought the game was over already. With 48 seconds left she popped her head in; what’s the score? 27 to 27. OMG!!! Yes, it got worse. I told her at half time yesterday that this first half was my personal Superbowl and that it would be all downhill from there; freeing up most of my Sundays. Archie was right. Makes me sick to my stomach.

  15. mccontrary says: Sep 12, 2016 10:07 AM

    The Chargers are trying to nail down that No. 3 overall draft spot again, to see if they can get it right next time. Little steps.

  16. djrando7 says: Sep 12, 2016 10:13 AM

    Like many have said, it’s the Chargers. McCoy is not going to take that team anywhere. It’s just the truth.

  17. Raider Jon says: Sep 12, 2016 10:15 AM

    As badly as Chargers fans treat me when I go to their stadium to watch my Raiders, and as much as I hate the Chargers, I still feel sort of bad for them on this one. I can’t even troll like I wanted to. Good luck this season fella’s. I feel your pain.

  18. lance19 says: Sep 12, 2016 10:28 AM

    The Chargers were expected to come home from KC 0-1.
    But HOW it happened is what hurts: They outplayed a good team, on the road for 2/3 of the game. McCoy has a record of turtling, and he went into full turtle mode yesterday. Can anyone here remember a team losing a 21 point second half lead, WITHOUT GIVING UP A TURNOVER? I can’t. The coaches fumbled this one away.

    Then you throw in the loss of Keenan, who was unstoppable early (as he was for 7.5 games to start 2015)…and it made for one of the worst days ever for Charger fans. Damn!

  19. icanspeel says: Sep 12, 2016 10:33 AM

    I can. They did what bad teams do when they have a decent lead.. take their foot off the gas.

    Play calling became very conservative on offense and defense and they were focusing on just winding the clock down. One of the turning points was when they were on KC 36 and went for a 54 yard FG attempt on 4th and 2. The kicker isn’t known for making FG over 50, so I think their best bet would be to go for it if anything. Instead of playing to win, they played not to lose which usually ends up in a loss.

  20. TheDPR says: Sep 12, 2016 10:37 AM

    Even though this isn’t the most talented team, they should have won that game. McCoy shouldn’t be a head coach in this league. He’s right down there with guys like Pagano and Caldwell. Just horrible. They lost because of him. What’s worse for Chargers fans is I don’t think ownership even cares.

  21. guadalahonky says: Sep 12, 2016 10:58 AM

    The McCoy Era is drawing to a close. Thank god.

  22. peytonmanningsforehead says: Sep 12, 2016 4:53 PM

    CHOKERS. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, CHOKERS.

  23. flipper9494 says: Sep 12, 2016 4:58 PM

    After coaching a game like that, both McCoy and Pagano must go. And to keep saying “all of us” in his talk after, McCoy showed his true colors. With very few exceptions, the players were near flawless and yet the coaches try to spread the blame around.

    He has no passion and it shows. He talked after the game as if he had slightly overcooked the chicken at his Labor Day BBQ. I can only imagine how riveting his half time speech was after loosing KA13 and using that as a lightning rod to play in his honor.

    He once again he sat on the lead, and for Pagano, how do you explain playing prevent defense for practically the entire 4th quarter? THE worst Charger game I’ve seen since I can remember and I mistakenly had hopes for this season. Shame on them.

  24. John George Campbell says: Sep 12, 2016 6:04 PM

    Various things happened yesterday that led to the loss. The obvious biggy was the coaching staff, i’.e, the head coach. playing it safe, with a big lead. Rather than keep the foot on the throat of the Chiefs, the offense and defense of the Chargers went soft. They went away from what was working for them at the beginning of the game, when they took a 24- 3 lead , and they just decided to sit on that lead. ……. But key lossses on offense and defense may have led to that “play it safe mentality”. Keenan Allen, who was unstoppable , got hurt, removing the most dangerous recieving player from the Chargers arsenal of weapons. …..Then Philon got hurt. Why does that matter? Because Philon was starting where Joey Bosa is supposed to be playing. So now the Chargers were without their first and second string players at that position. And all of a sudden, there’s a glaring weakness on the Chargers defensive line for the Chiefs to attack. ….Then special teams happened. But not all special teams. Just the punter. The rookie punter better get his head together fast, or he could be, and should be, looking for another team to punt for by week three.

  25. natelan says: Sep 12, 2016 7:42 PM

    When you factor in the expectations of this game, before it was played, the Chiefs should probably be more concerned than the Chargers.

  26. rickochey says: Sep 13, 2016 12:20 AM

    McCoy had 9 months to prepare and game plan.

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