The San Diego Chargers will kick off the Mike McCoy era by hosting the defending AFC South Champion Houston Texans in the second half of ESPN's Kickoff Weekend "Monday Night Football" doubleheader.
If the NFL truly is a war of attrition McCoy and the Chargers have been in full retreat already.
The former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator thought he landed in America's Most Beautiful City as the architect of the reclamation product called Philip Rivers.
Instead he finds himself in the sequel to "MASH." A tough rebuilding job was only made more difficult for McCoy by a host of bumps and bruises during training camp and the preseason.
It all started back in May when McCoy lost emerging outside linebacker Melvin Ingram to a torn ACL during OTAs and things haven't slowed since. From hard- luck wide receiver Danario Alexander's torn ACL to Malcolm Floyd's sprained knee to Eddie Royal's bruised lung and concussion to Manti Te'o sprained foot, McCoy has to be wondering if there is a Voodoo doll out there with his name on it.
"It's part of the game," McCoy said when discussing all of his team's injuries. "It's the unfortunate part when you lose the guys we've lost, but it's an opportunity for the other guys to step up."
No one is going to feel sorry for the Chargers, though, so the mantra has to be next man up and forging ahead with the original plan, keeping Rivers clean in the pocket.
The veteran North Carolina State product is obviously still a talented quarterback but he fell on hard times during the final season of the Norv Turner era, thanks in large part to a porous offensive line.
Losing the team's best offensive lineman -- guard Louis Vasquez -- to AFC West-rival Denver didn't help and mission No. 1 in San Diego has been rebuilding things up front.
D.J. Fluker was the best O-Line prospect left on the board when San Diego picked at No. 11 overall in the 2013 draft and general manger Tom Telesco bit. Fluker has flourished early and looks like he will solidify the right tackle position. Whether pedestrian veteran King Dunlap can do the same on the left side is another question.
Defensively, the spotlight figures to follow former Notre Dame star Te'o, a great college player who fell in the draft because of his strange "catfishing" scandal.
Te'o, though, will have to wait at least another week to make his NFL debut. The Chargers have ruled out their promising rookie or Monday's opener because of his sprained right foot.
Te'o -- the Heisman Trophy runner-up last season with the Fighting Irish -- originally injured the foot in the Aug. 8 preseason opener and has been wearing a walking boot since.
Perhaps the best thing about the Houston Texans' forecast for 2013 is that it's similar to what might have been said 12 months ago.
The now 12-year-old franchise has high-profile names at several positions, a veteran coaching staff and has successfully turned the corner -- thanks to consecutive AFC South Division championships -- from perennial expansion doormat to legitimate conference powerhouse.
Of course, where some see a blessing, others may imply something less.
With two straight playoff appearances and a roster largely in the prime of its collective life, expectations tend to change quickly. And in the case of the Texans, those expectations are nearing a point where another 12-4 finish with one playoff win will be judged a failure rather than a success.