Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
SAN DIEGO -- When the season is over for the San Diego Chargers -- and more and more that date is looking like Dec. 28, the final Sunday of the regular season -- the fault will lie squarely on the team's shoulders.
The Chargers are controlling their own fate and it's not going well. San Diego just fell to 4-8 after its loss to Atlanta. This was supposed to be the time San Diego made its run. Sunday's game was the second in a stretch of three home games. The Chargers were defeated by Indianapolis last Sunday and they host Oakland on Thursday.
Still, the home stretch has done nothing for San Diego, which was flat all game long against the Falcons. Atlanta could have blown out San Diego. It left many points on the field. This game was never really close.
The Chargers can't look back at this game and say they could have won. This wasn't one of these last-minute losses. The Chargers were outplayed and outcoached.
With four games to go, San Diego, which won 25 games combined in the past two seasons, can go 8-8 at best. Unless Denver completely tumbles, the preseason Super Bowl favorite Chargers are going to go down as one of the great disappointments in recent NFL memory.