The Chargers start 2013 … with a collapse.

All was peaceful before the game.

All was peaceful before the game.

It’s just no way to start the season.

The Chargers lost to the Texans in their season opener, which I wrote about in detail here. The issue isn’t that they lost (really, it isn’t) … It’s HOW they lost. They were up by three touchdowns (THREE!) before Houston closed the gap in the third quarter, tied it in the fourth, and won it in the end.

OUCH.

Most Chargers fans remember the legendary Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos in 2012 … You know, the one where the Chargers were up 24-0 going into halftime and there was NO WAY THEY WERE GOING TO LOSE!!! Remember?! And then, Peyton Manning and Co. went to work in the second half, the Chargers went from attack-mode to react-mode, and suddenly, all the world watched while San Diego gave one away.

They gave four more away in 2012, blowing five halftime leads.

But, that was the Norv Turner era … right? At least that’s what people barked at me when I tweeted they shouldn’t get too comfortable with the lead.

Wrong.

The Chargers went into halftime last night up 21-7 over the Texans. They scored on their first possession after halftime to bring the score to 28-7.

And then, the wheels just came off. The confident, fun team in the first half gave way to mistakes, fatigue and decline.

Here’s the thing: In life, in anything … You have to be able to seal the deal. You have to be able to close the game. Life doesn’t stop after two quarters and neither does football. There was good in the Chargers game last night — Ryan Mathews scored a touchdown on his first play of the game, the defense looked dominant and made big stops in the first half, Philip Rivers looked comfortable and heck, even looked like he was having fun — and although the team can build on the good, elite teams are able to clinch the victory when it counts.

The Chargers may have a new head coach, new uniforms and new sayings on their t-shirts … but the loss is reminiscent of everything old.

As safety Eric Weddle told me last night:

“It’s a new year. We’re still learning. It’s a lot of different pieces in this team. We started fast and shoot, we had a chance. I gotta get better and we all gotta get better.”

Fifteen to go, folks. Still time to turn it around.

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