In 2020 -- and prior -- the Los Angeles Chargers have had a heartbreaking habit of losing close games.
The Chargers and coach Anthony Lynn had a strong finish to the 2020 season, but it wasn't enough for Lynn to remain with the Bolts, as he was fired on Monday.
Past the midway point of his fourth season with the Chargers, Lynn and the Chargers had a 3-9 record following a 45-0 loss to the Patriots and it seemed to be past the point of no return for Lynn. But the Chargers decided to give him the remainder of the season before coming to a conclusion about his future and the decision was to conclude his days leading the club.
Lynn, 52, posted a 33-31 record as Chargers coach, beginning with two winning seasons in 2017-18 and one postseason appearance, but hard times have once more befallen the Bolts.
Though the Chargers ended the season on a four-game winning streak to go 7-9, those final four victories came after the team had been eliminated from playoff contention.
It wasn't all that long ago that the Chargers posted a 12-4 campaign in 2018 and advanced to the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs. However, Los Angeles followed that season with plenty of potential but no follow-through.
L.A. went 5-11 in 2019 when injuries and excruciating defeats clouded their season. It was more of the exact same thing in 2020.
Seven of the Chargers' losses this season came by one possession, with three defeats by three points or less.
They began the season without star defensive back Derwin James, who was lost for the year after his 2019 campaign was also shortened by injury. Among the list of other notable Chargers injuries in 2020 have been Mike Pouncey, Trai Turner, Austin Ekeler, Bryan Bulaga, Chris Harris and Melvin Ingram.
Lynn has had a talent-laden squad each of the last two seasons, but the results didn't follow and even with mounting injuries, the win-loss column was an argument against the coach returning.
Second-guessing of Lynn's decisions seemingly followed each defeat, with every coaching move all the more impactful in close losses.
In the aforementioned Week 13 loss to the Patriots that appeared to be the end for Lynn, the Chargers allowed two special teams touchdowns even though he had shaken up the special teams coaching staff earlier in the season.
The Chargers were able to follow that up with a string of close wins, but in the end it wasn't enough to prevent a move.
Lynn saw the franchise through move on from Philip Rivers and move forward with 2020 No. 6 overall pick Justin Herbert, who has produced a first season of all-time rookie success.
Now, though, it's Lynn who will take his exit as the Herbert era for the Bolts begins in earnest.