After the San Diego Chargers' struggles hit near rock-bottom Monday night in a meltdown against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, Chargers GM A.J. Smith took the blame for the team's "present mess."
Here's what Smith told The Union-Tribune's Kevin Acee:
"We have some outstanding, talented players on this team and some outstanding coaches across the board," Smith said. "But obviously we cannot play as a team. We appear to not be able to handle adversity or finish games. Individual and team confidence appears to be going south."
“I take full responsibility for the present mess this team is in at this point in time,” Smith added. “The construction and direction of this organization is on my watch. In the next 10 games we will either rally and see a slow, steady rise from the ashes to a division championship – or the beginning of a new era in Chargers’ football.”
The Chargers held a 24-0 halftime lead over the Broncos on Monday before six turnovers from quarterback Philip Rivers helped Manning lead the Broncos back to a 35-24 win. The Broncos became the first team in NFL history to be down by so much and to come back and win by double digits.
“It was an embarrassing and humiliating performance by a team going in the wrong direction fast,” Smith said.