The Chargers hadn’t lost a game during the 2018 season away from L.A. until today, but today’s loss isn’t deterring their head coach.
Anthony Lynn, whose work has been underrated in two seasons with the Chargers, acknowledged that things didn’t go well on Sunday for his team. But Lynn sees the positive.
“I’ve learned that no one game doesn’t define who we are and our football season, for sure,” Lynn told reporters after Sunday’s 41-28 loss to the Patriots. “And those men, they fought hard all year and there were some difficult situations that we fought back and won. And today we just couldn’t get that done. . . . I liked the way they came out and competed in the second half. And you know, I’m not sure if you can take away anything from this one game today. You know, we got our butt’s kicked today. But we can learn a lot from this year and this season from one another. It’s not a comfortable moment for us, for sure, but I think in these times we can learn a lot about ourselves. And we can grow and be a better person, better teammate, better coach.”
The butt kicking came throughout the first half, one that saw the Patriots move the ball at will, with the Chargers unable to answer beyond their first drive of the game.
“We couldn’t get a stop defensively and when we got on the field offensively, we got to stay on the field,” Lynn said. “You know, I think we had 20 plays in the first half and that’s just not enough plays to get into a rhythm. And I thought that hurt us. We couldn’t run the football, we got behind by three scores, kind of took our running game away from us, a little bit. And so, whenever we aren’t balanced on offense, then you know, we tend to struggle to stay on the football field.”
The Chargers thrived more than struggled in 2018, the second of three years with home games played in an undersized stadium that delivers no real home-field advantage. Come 2019, the Chargers could be in position to not only get back to the postseason but punch through to the AFC title game for the first time in 12 years, and maybe to the Super Bowl for the first time in 25.
However it turns out, they have the right coach in Anthony Lynn, and the fact that his two coordinators received no sniffs for head-coaching jobs means that there will be continuity, with Ken Whisenhunt running the offense and Gus Bradley running the defense. Given the talent they have on both sides of the ball, the best could be yet to come for a Chargers team that deserves a greater following in its home market, and beyond.