There are few disappointments bigger than the Los Angeles Chargers in the early stages of 2017. The Chargers’ 0-4 start features three losses at home (if you can call the StubHub Center home) and one at the hands of the Dolphins, which might be the single worst loss of the NFL season. So is first-year head coach Anthony Lynn on the hot seat four games into his tenure?
No spark in Chargers
It’s been three years since the Chargers had a winning season. Anthony Lynn couldn’t control that he inherited a team with a record of 9-23 since 2014. He also can’t help it if his team had suffered 18 losses by less than a touchdown in the three years prior to his arrival. The Chargers lost their mojo well before Lynn and the team arrived in Los Angeles, and it would be unfair to judge him because they haven’t found it yet in his first four games.
The Chargers’ first year in Los Angeles hasn’t gone as predicted in other ways as well. The StubHub Center, which holds less than 30,000, is by far the smallest venue in the NFL, and yet Charger fans cannot fill the place. In last week’s game against the Eagles, it was unbelievable how many Philadelphia fans there were in attendance. As a Los Angeles native, I get the sense the Chargers have taken third fiddle in LA, behind both the Rams and even USC, making them losers on and off the field. There are so many problems in the Charger’s organization, perhaps the whole franchise needs a second chance next season.
New city, new expectations
Los Angeles isn’t a city that takes losing well. It was only five years ago when the Lakers fired coach Mike Brown only five games into the 2012 season. Although the Chargers don’t have the city in their corner at the moment, they may still feel the pressure to hand off the reins at the end of the year.
Sadly, the NFL has a precedent for firing coaches after their first season. The San Francisco 49ers have done it twice recently, in 2015 with Jim Tomsula and in 2016 with Chip Kelly. It’s unreasonable to expect a coach to turn a team around in a single year, but that is what the expectation is now and it looks like Lynn and the Chargers are headed for the cellar in the AFC. So yes, Anthony Lynn is in trouble, whether he should be or not.
The Chargers face the biggest disappointment out of the NFC Sunday when they take on the Giants. It will be somebody’s first win of the season, and go a long way for one of these head coaches. Let’s see if Lynn can rally his boys and bring a victory back to Los Angeles.
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