The Chargers could be likened to the friend that turns up at five-a-side sporting Copa Mundials, with a hairband on, sock tape hugging their next-to-non-existent shin-pads and black Nike gloves to top off the ensemble.
The optics point to a gifted technician, until they sky the five-yard gimme teed up by the Justin Herbert of the team following a marauding run during which he has slalomed beyond three defenders.
For the fifth time this season they came out second-best in a one-score game as they were beaten 23-20 by the Green Bay Packers, another blunder-stricken performance dropping them to 4-6 and shoving the playoffs further out of their flailing reach.
Herbert has now suffered a quarterback-high 22 one-score defeats since entering the league in 2020 as the sixth overall pick.
Game-on-the-line mistakes were made, Staley was spikey in his press conference and even the most mellow Herbert could hide his frustration no longer as he slammed the ball into the ground after a delay of game penalty with his team trailing in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers aced the task of finding their franchise quarterback to succeed Philip Rivers while others around the league have hopped aimlessly between make-shift solutions and ill-guided decisions.
Four seasons later, their record with Herbert is a measly 29-30 and on course for consisting of just one 10-win campaign.
Quentin Johnston had the chance to be the hero on the final drive of the game when he bought himself two strides of separation on a sideline fade, Herbert rotating his hips and gliding a cross-field dagger into the path of his teammate, only for the rookie wide receiver to let it slip through his fingers. He would have been home free for the touchdown to win it.
Keenan Allen had been sucked into his team’s error-prone ways earlier in the game when he dropped an easy catch at the goalline, while Austin Ekeler was guilty of fumbling at the Packers’ two-yard line.
And having left Green Bay staring at third-and-20 while trailing 20-16 with four minutes to play, the Chargers gifted the hosts a new set of downs when Asante Samuel Jr was flagged for pass interference on Dontayvion Wicks, who moments later bounced off two weak tackle attempts to race away for 35 yards and help tee up Romeo Doubs’ 24-yard game-winning touchdown. Chargers epitome.