Anthony Lynn's Chargers have played admirably in 2020, but have just one win to show for it in their first five weeks.
In the aftermath of Los Angeles' heartbreaking overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints, Lynn told reporters he "never thought" this team would lose four in a row. The fashion in which they've lost them, though, has been rather familiar, with each coming by a margin of one possession.
That was the tale of the 2019 Chargers as well, who lost nine of 11 games by one possession. But these Chargers -- who have seen all five of their games come down to one possession, and are 0-2 in overtime games -- are doing it in a different fashion. First, instead of hanging on to an over-the-hill veteran in Philip Rivers, they're competitive while running with rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, who is dazzling onlookers, including those who doubted him coming out of Oregon. And they're also doing it while dealing with a bevy of injuries.
In the midst of the Chargers' Monday night game -- before they surrendered the lead to New Orleans in the game's final minutes and headed to overtime -- our own Gregg Rosenthal hit the bullseye with this tweet:
Unfortunately for Lynn, the results are still the same. Moral victories don't count in the standings.
"It's frustrating because the guys are putting themselves in position to win these games and we're just not finishing the games," Lynn said late Monday night. "It's not one thing here or there -- I could give you a ton of excuses, but I'm not about excuses. At the end of the day, we've just got to get it done, and that's on me."
If Mike Badgley's field goal sneaks inside the right upright instead of clanging off of it, we're singing the praises of the Chargers and especially of Herbert, who has been poised and downright exciting to watch since his debut in Week 2, and nearly led a game-winning drive Monday night. That's the margin of error in the NFL these days, though, and right now it has the Chargers at 1-4 staring up at the rest of their division.
"We know we can play with anybody, because we've been doing it," Lynn said. "We've just got to finish these damn games."