OPEN THREAD: Chargers vs. Chiefs

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers host the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2016 season finale. Here is the open thread.

Well ladies and gentlemen, here we are. It’s the final game of the season, and perhaps the last time we see the Chargers play in San Diego. Sigh.

It’s been a rough season all around. Between infuriating second-half meltdowns and the absurd amount of injuries, this season was one of the worst we’ve seen in a long time. The potential relocation to Los Angeles is the icing on an old, moldy cake.

If the Chargers do indeed move, it’s been an honor to write for Bolt Beat. I joined the team right before the 2016 NFL Draft (at least I brought some good draft luck), and I don’t plan on going anywhere. Unfortunately, many fans have refused (and rightfully so) to root for the Chargers if they relocated, so this could potentially be the last time those fans check in (hopefully not).

With that said, the Chiefs already locked up a playoff berth and could actually clinch a first-round bye if they win and the Oakland Raiders, who are without quarterback Derek Carr (broken leg), lose to the Denver Broncos.

For the Chargers, they are playing for the 2017 NFL Draft. As of now, they hold the No. 7 overall spot in the draft. The Chargers need major help on the offensive line, but the general consensus is that there’s no linemen worth a top-10 selection.

If the Chargers can stay where they are, there’s a chance they could snag LSU safety Jamal Adams or Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams, two players who are arguably the best at their respected positions. Safety is more of a need than receiver, but it’ll be hard to pass up on Williams if he’s available. One example: In 2014, the New York Giants drafted LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. with the No. 12 overall pick, even though the team was desperate for an offensive lineman. Three years later, Beckham Jr. is one of the top receivers in the game and played a huge role in getting the Giants back into the playoffs. Again, there are many cases to make for picking Adams, too.

But the draft is months away, so we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. What’s more relevant is Mike McCoy and his potential firing. According to ESPN, the Chargers are preparing to part ways with McCoy. General manager Tom Telesco reportedly advised owners to retain McCoy, but his recommendation might not be enough, especially after the team suffered an embarrassing loss to a then-winless Browns team in Week 16.

The blame for a bad season shouldn’t be put entirely on McCoy’s shoulders. With all the injuries, he kept his team in all but one game (Week 14 vs. Carolina Panthers). But McCoy’s conservative play-calling and inability to close out games killed this team. That, and the fact that the Bolts are currently 27-36 under him.

The Chargers need a fresh start and a coach who is more aggressive. They need a coach who will discipline players for their mistakes. Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is a popular choice and could be a change of pace for the Chargers considering McCoy and former coach Norv Turner are offensive-minded coaches. If they want to stick with an offensive-minded coach, Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could be the guy. Bolt Beat’s Louis Gorini wrote a list of coaching options for 2017.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year’s. Let’s get ready for what should be an interesting offseason.

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