Chargers will close out a disappointing season with the Chiefs on Sunday
January 4, 2024
Change is coming to the Los Angeles Chargers, and it cannot come soon enough. The Chargers fell to the Broncos in Denver last Sunday, 16-9, to slip to 5-11 for the 2023 season. The Chargers were able to get three field goals from kicker Cameron Dicker of 36, 50, and 52 yards to keep it close.
Dicker is 8 for 8 on field goal attempts in the past two games and has become the offensive star for the Chargers. It is never a good sign when the field goal kicker is your offensive star. Backup quarterback Easton Stick has been put into the difficult position of moving the offense without much talent to throw to and without a running game. Stick completed 24 of 38 passes for 220 yards and rushed for 31 yards, but he did not have much support.
Running back Austin Ekeler had 13 carries for 46 yards and one reception for four yards. Ekeler also lost a fumble in what has been a disappointing season for him. Wide receiver Alex Erickson came off the practice squad to lead the Chargers with 7 receptions for 98 yards. The Chargers got another disappointing performance from first round pick Quentin Johnston, who had three receptions for 29 yards.
The Broncos managed to score one offensive touchdown in the game and that was the difference. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham connected with wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey for a 54-yard touchdown in the second quarter, breaking a 3-3 tie and giving the Broncos a 10-3. That score turned out to be the difference in the game.
The Chargers will have a top ten draft pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and a new Head Coach and new General Manager. There will be changes on the 53-man roster, some which may be significant. The new management will want their guys. The Chargers need to think about hiring a coach who can give the fans some hope and bring some energy to the Chargers. The first call should go out to Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh, but there are others that can change the trajectory of the team as well.
The Chargers will end the season with a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The game will be played on Sunday, January 7, and will start at 1:25 pm locally. The game will be televised on CBS. The Chiefs have a record of 10-6 for the season and have clinched their eight consecutive AFC West division title. The Chiefs will likely rest their key starters this Sunday to get them ready for the playoffs.
The Chiefs are locked into the No. 3 seed in the AFC Playoffs. They cannot move up or down at this point. They will play at home in the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs. If the Buffalo Bills beat the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night, the Chiefs will face the Dolphins in the wild-card round. If Miami wins, the Chiefs could face one of four teams: Bills, Houston, Indianapolis, or Pittsburgh.
The one team they will not face in the playoffs is the Chargers. The Chargers started the season as a solid favorite to make the playoffs and are ending the season as one of the worst teams in the NFL. This was easily the most disappointing season from the Chargers since their move to Los Angeles in 2017. Win or lose against the Chiefs, the Chargers need to win the 2024 NFL off-season. They need to change the perception of the franchise in Southern California.