By Dave Thomas
After a heart-breaking 24-21 loss to the Denver Broncos this past Monday evening, the Los Angeles Chargers head “home” for a pair of games against AFC foes Miami and Kansas City, respectively.
When one says “home” for the Chargers, it is a bit of a stretch to say the Bolts will have a true home-field advantage this season – or the few after that.
Unless one was under a rock this past year, they know that the Chargers are calling Carson, California their temporary home for a few years. After bolting from San Diego and the countless loyal fans who followed the team for decades, the Chargers are now a team without their own permanent stadium. Sure, they will share the new stadium being built in Inglewood, Calif. with the Rams in a few years, but that is the future and not now.
So, can the Chargers expect the 30,000 or so fans who will show up for their eight regular season home games to be true die-hard Bolts fans? Or will it be much like the last several decades in San Diego? Even with a seating capacity of close to 70,000 at the Chargers’ former home in San Diego, the team did not always have a real advantage. Whether it was playing the Raiders, Broncos, Chiefs, Patriots, Steelers or a number of other teams, the fan mix at games could be close to or even 50-50 on some days.
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In order for the Chargers to have a better chance of putting fans in the seats at their temporary home in Carson, they will need to play better than they did in the loss at Denver.
Granted, the Bolts did fight back, clawing their way within a game-tying field goal with :05 remaining in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, after making his first attempt, Younghoe Koo missed on the second (Denver called timeout just as the rookie prepared to kick the first one). Whether bad luck or a sign of things to come for this season, the Bolts left the Mile High City with a bad taste in their mouths.
On the bright side, veteran QB Philip Rivers shows no signs of slowing down, tossing three TD passes along the way Monday evening. Even with some injury issues at spots coming into the season, the Chargers know they have a reliable gunslinger under center.
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