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Chargers’ 2014 Analysis: 5-1 start was wasted

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SAN DIEGO — The Chargers’ degree of disappointment in not making the playoffs was obvious.

The same goes for how much work is on the horizon and as they continue to remake a roster.

That the Chargers (9-5) couldn’t beat a backup quarterback in Kansas City in Week 17 will long sting — and it cost them a playoff spot.

But spend too much time thinking about that and it delays the work needed going forward.

However, the present shows the Chargers pleased in matching last year’s win total of nine. But that didn’t trump missing the postseason for the fourth time in the last five years.

The Chargers saw a 5-1 start disintegrate into a December fade, during which they lost three of their last four games.

While the defense improved as the season progressed — especially in the red zone — the same couldn’t be said about the offense.

Whether it was quarterback Philip Rivers ailing or the flood of injuries which hit the offensive line, the Chargers struggled moving the ball down the stretch.

San Diego scored only one touchdown in three of their four final games and in five of the final eight games.

A roster that was built to be explosive on offense was just the opposite and that steamrolled the team’s chances of making the playoffs in consecutive years.

What sticks out is the Chargers going 2-4 in the AFC West. That, and losing three home games, is no way to earn a wild-card berth, let alone end the Broncos’ run of four straight division titles.

So a good year? It certainly was entertaining, but finishing third in your division is nothing to crow about. It was far from a great year in that the team didn’t make the postseason.

Especially considering the Chargers let their fate slip through their fingers, by losing a win-and-in game in the regular-season finale against the Chiefs.

Free safety FS Eric Weddle said his advice to teammates was simple as they left for the offseason. “Work hard,” Weddle said. “We all got to get better because we didn’t get it done this year.”


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