Ailing Bolts need a sling and a prayer

San Diego Chargers tackle King Dunlap

The Pope was busy on his East Coast swing, so we excuse his high Holiness.

But, just maybe, Pope Francis could have squeezed in a trip to San Diego on Monday.

Then again, he might spot the Chargers and not offer the blessing we seek.

He might peek at the Bolts and present last rites and could you blame him?

The Chargers didn’t just get beat by the Vikings on Sunday, as Pope Francis was riding down Philadelphia’s streets. 

They were steam rolled as if in the Pope’s Fiat, with Minnesota flattening them in its Range Rover.

The Bolts were embarrassed in a 31-14 route.

If red is the new powder blue, a fresh color has high jacked the franchise.

This was a face-plant, the nose of the team slamming into an unseen mountain.

Promises offered in the summer have morphed into a fall not to remember. The numbers the Chargers are producing are as alarming as they are critical.

The Chargers creep up on the season’s quarter pole with one sack.


The Chargers have 180 minutes of regular-season football under their shoulder pads and have led for 12.


All-Everything running back Melvin Gordon once scored during the national anthem at Wisconsin – we think. But in three NFL games, he has zero touchdowns.


The season has dissolved into a series of mistakes, a litany of injuries and a coach with a persona of Nervous Pervis rather than Steady Eddie.

The Vikings decimated the Chargers’ front line to the level that big bodies were running low.

Minnesota pestered Philip Rivers to a degree that he was running for his life.

Running lanes were harder to find that clean-shaven Viking mascot.

Defensively, it was cover your eyes and try not to own Adrian Peterson’s cleat marks.

Peterson is a stud, but the tackling was a joke. It’s hard to get run over when not squared up, so on that count, the Chargers did well.

The linebackers were devoured and why are Donald Butler and Manti Te’o always in the other teams’ highlight reels?

The secondary was missing in non-action.

One cornerback, Brandon Flowers, left his game at 30,000 feet. McCoy said Flowers’ knee got cranky on the flight in, so the VIkings weren’t able to pick on someone who allowed three touchdowns the week before.

Jason Verrett, Mr. August, again was compromised by a body seemingly not built for the rigors of the NFL. Not many are, in reality, but on his was to Pro Football Hall of Fame, Verrett has become the bust of another kind.

Are we being harsh?

Not really. 

If you don’t share these thoughts, you’re check is either signed by Dean Spanos or you have lousy TV reception.

“Nothing went right for us,” McCoy said.

Well, McCoy got that correct.

There’s something amiss with this team and the coach is where the focus goes. That’s life in the NFL, where you are what record says you are.

Know this: the last-place Chargers have lost five of their past seven games on McCoy’s watch.

It seems he’s resembling Kevin Gilbride instead of Bobby Ross and wouldn’t it be boss if he turned around this sinking ship quickly?

The Bolts get the equivalent of a life preserver on Sunday with the visiting Browns. 

Lose that one, and not even a miracle saves this season.

But before looking ahead, the Chargers need to look in the mirror.

Those goes to general manager Tom Telesco’s handiwork with a roster which is depleted and demoralized.

Were the pieces ever here to make a playoff run?

Or is the team playing to its level, and if that’s the case, it’ll be a long possibly farewell season in Mission Valley.

Maybe the Chargers hit rock bottom in the Twin Cities and rebound.

Then again, San Diego has presented little proof that they don’t belong in the AFC West cellar.

That’s not a lie, so there’s no need to ask for forgiveness.


+ Contact Jay Paris at Follow him on Twitter at @jparis_sports.



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