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The Chargers Just Had Their Worst Week Since Moving to Los Angeles

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 07: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks on from the sideline against the Oakland Raiders in the third quarter at RingCentral Coliseum on November 07, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Philip Rivers | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Chargers had a worse week than you did. In fact, given everything that went down during Week 10 of the 2019 NFL season, it's easy to pinpoint this past seven day stretch as the worst since the franchise moved to LA in January of 2017 -- and that's saying something.

Just after scoring a huge home win over the Green Bay Packers -- in front of a crowd that was roughly 90 percent Packers fans -- all hell broke loose for the Chargers. First, Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke said what we all know by now: the Chargers don't belong in LA and will never fit there. Then a bombshell report dropped in The Athletic that claimed the NFL would prefer if the Bolts departed Los Angeles for London. The story suggested the league was seriously concerned with the Chargers' situation in LA and that the franchise might actually be receptive to the idea of a relocation to England.

The next day Chargers owner Dean Spanos embarrassed himself with an unbecoming, unhinged, obscenity-laced rant about how the story wasn't true and the franchise was going to be in Los Angeles for a long time:

Sounds like someone hit a nerve.

Just a day later, NFL Network reporter Steve Wyche gave an interview in which he backed up The Athletic's report that other owners and "people at the league" were concerned about the long-term viability of the Chargers in Los Angeles. Basically, he confirmed all the issues cited by sources in The Athletic's piece.

Already mired in a disaster of a week, the Chargers went up to Oakland for a Thursday night game and lost to the rival Raiders 26-24. The Bolts essentially dominated the game but gave it away repeatedly thanks to three interceptions from quarterback Philip Rivers. Rivers looked all but done as an effective NFL quarterback and the two-minute drill he orchestrated at the end of the game may have been the worst of all-time.

As if all of that wasn't enough, multiple columnists came out and ripped the Chargers franchise and Dean Spanos himself.

On Sunday, things continued to go downhill as the Chargers dropped even further out of playoff contention thanks to wins by the Steelers and Titans, who both hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with LA.

All of that combined to create what was the worst week the Chargers have had in Los Angeles. Oh sure, there have been other awful weeks. Hell, there have been too many to count at this point, but everything that happened over the last seven days culminated in the low point for the franchise since its relocation.

It's not hard to understand why the NFL has dropped all this on Spanos and company. The other owners have to feel as if they handed Dean & co. a golden ticket and he's done absolutely nothing with it. Nothing has improved. We're still seeing weekly stadium takeovers by opposing fans, wildly disappointing PSL sales, no real fan outreach, zero buzz for the franchise in and around LA and a complete lack of urgency or initiative coming from ownership. After the widely-ridiculed "Fight for LA' campaign, it's almost like the Chargers' public relations department shuttered itself and ceases to exist.

A new stadium isn't going to change the indifference that exists in LA towards the franchise. Oh sure they'll sell some tickets because folks will want to see the new facility, but the novelty will wear off after a few weeks.

So what's next? It's hard to see the NFL entrusting London to a bumbling dolt like Spanos. Things clearly aren't working in LA and many around the league think another relocation is in the cards for the Chargers eventually. They're just not going to win people over in a city that didn't want them in the first place.

This was the week all the Chargers' long-predicted problems in Los Angeles finally came to a head. It was easily the franchise's worst stretch of days since moving. Given what we know about the folks running the Chargers, don't expect this to be rock bottom. We aren't close to hitting that yet.