Finally done horsing around, the surging Chargers tangle with the Broncos Sunday.
You’re right, buckaroo, the words “surging” and “Chargers” last shared a sentence years ago.
But tip your hat when required and we are doing just that to coach Mike McCoy’s lads in pads.
They’ve resurrected a season that was on the brink with two straight wins, something last done in 2014. If prevailing in three straight, the Chargers will officially be on a roll.
Seizing a weekend triumph a mile high won’t be easy. But after a rocky start, the Chargers (3-4) are relevant again.
They don’t need a periscope to see the AFC West leaders. The Raiders (5-2) and Broncos (5-2) are the top dogs, but the Chargers are just two games back with nine remaining.
Suddenly the last-minute meltdowns have vanished. In their two recent wins, one in overtime, the Chargers escaped with a victory instead of heartbreak.
“We’re just starting to believe,” Brandon Mebane said. ”We have a very young team and we’re starting to believe in each other. When you win, it just boosts up so much confidence all around the team.”
Just how did the Chargers’ rockets become engaged? How has a bunch, which found creative ways to lose from ahead transfer into a playoff contender?
The play of Philip Rivers? Of course — as the Chargers’ success is always linked to his accurate right arm.
The emergence of Melvin Gordon? In a flash, his reputation morphed from being a fumbler to a touchdown machine. His 10 scores lead the NFL and are 10 more than last year.
The league’s sixth-ranked offense is always a team strength. But it’s those flexing muscles on the other side that have fueled the Chargers’ awakening.
Joey Bosa, where have you been?
“I’m just doing what I do,” Bosa said. “I think it says a lot for the time I’ve put in up until this point. But let’s not focus on me.’’
Sorry Joey, but like offensive coordinators scheming against him, Bosa can’t avoid the spotlight. Not after collecting four sacks in his first three games and being a pain to those blocking him.
“When we drafted Joey, we knew exactly what we were getting,” McCoy said of the third overall selection. “And I think that we’ve said all along here that he’s going to help our team win, and make us a much better defense in his role. And in the short amount of time that he’s played with us the last couple weeks, you can see the impact he has on our team.”
Bosa is a beast, underscoring what a shame it was the Chargers couldn’t sign him on time. If Bosa doesn’t miss the season’s first month, maybe the Chargers wouldn’t be in such a deep crevice.
But Bosa’s return has put everyone’s hands on the shovel. After having soil tossed on their season with everyone expecting the Chargers to go toes up, they’ve rebounded with a purpose.
No longer is the narrative at Chargers Park about McCoy’s shaky job status. Or the knee injuries that have robbed the Chargers of key players.
Instead the Chargers are riding Rivers, Bosa and Josh Lambo’s precision kicking in becoming a tough out.
This mini-roll could become special if the Chargers show the last two games were a trend and not an aberration.
The Chargers have to prove they can win an AFC West road game — last done against the winless Raiders in 2014. If they mark that off their list on Sunday, they’ll sweep the Super Bowl champion Broncos for the first time since 2010.
Show Denver the broom the day before Halloween and what a treat the next month could be. Up next would be the Titans (3-4), Dolphins (3-4), Texans (4-3) and the Buccaneers (3-3).
Murderer’s row it ain’t, especially with three of the four at home.
And if the Chargers stay hot, just maybe San Diego’s citizens warm to the stadium initiative, to be voted on Nov. 8.
But the real October surprise has been the Chargers’ climbing off the mat.
Contact Jay Paris at email@example.com. His new book “Game of My Life Chargers” is available at area book stores and at amazon.com.
Sportswriter Jay Paris has written his “Sports Talk” column since joining the Coast News in 2013.
Paris, a Cardiff resident, is a longtime Southern California writer, getting his start with the Orange County Register before coming to San Diego in 1992 to cover the Chargers.
He had the Chargers beat for more than two decades with Oceanside Blade-Citizen, the North County Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune, before being named a sports columnist with the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Paris has won numerous awards voted on by his peers in the Pro Football Writers of America. He has also been a staple on countless media platforms, everything from the KPBS to MLB Network and various radio outlets.
Paris is also the author of three books, with his latest one being, “Shohei Ohtani: The Amazing Story Of Baseball’s Two-Way Japanese Superstar.” He has also written “Game Of My Life Chargers” and “Game Of My Life Rams.”
He currently covers the NFL in Los Angeles for Forbes. com and is a contributor to USA Today Sports Weekly. Follow Jay on Twitter @jparis_sports