The Chargers’ era of stupefying, heartbreaking losses may finally be over


Photograph: Gary A Vasquez/USA Today Sports

The scenario was familiar. A promising Los Angeles Chargers team was playing its heart out in a back-and-forth battle – this time with the Cleveland Browns. The “home crowd” at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles was teeming with Browns fans, another reminder that the Chargers play second fiddle in their own town. No matter which team you were rooting for though, the fourth quarter was mesmerizing.

The Chargers took a 28-27 lead to open the quarter when Justin Herbert found a wide-open (to put it mildly) Mike Williams for a 42-yard score. Then the Browns took a one-score lead when Baker Mayfield fired a 71-yard shot to TE David Njoku and executed the two-point conversion. Los Angeles tied it 35-35 with an ensuing Austin Ekeler touchdown run. But back came Cleveland to take a 42-35 lead on a Kareem Hunt score. With 4:45 left, Brandon Staley’s squad would again have to find an answer.

In many ways, this moment felt like a fork in the road for these Chargers. This year’s iteration of the team has mostly won, even close games. The sole exception – the team’s only loss – came in Week 2 against Dallas when they thought they had secured a late touchdown to take the lead, but a penalty forced them to settle for a game-tying field goal, only to be defeated by a 56-yard Greg Zuerlein field goal with four seconds remaining. That loss was a painful reminder that we are barely removed from the days when devastating, infuriating Chargers losses were commonplace. Last year’s narrative was all about blowing huge leads – and they became the first NFL team in history to blow leads of 16 or more points in four straight games. But heartbreaking losses were a staple of the Philip Rivers years too.

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As the Chargers drove to tie the game on Sunday, it looked like they would go three and out, giving the Browns a steep advantage. But then…

Source : yahoo

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