How Chargers' Brandon Staley's bizarre timeout call against Raiders potentially dashed their playoff dreams
What was LA Chargers head coach Brandon Staley thinking? The Chargers were a kneel-down away from advancing to the playoffs.
All he needed to do was not call a timeout and what did he do?
Yes, he called a timeout.
The game was in overtime and the Raiders had the ball. They appeared to be content with simply letting the clock run. Staley called the timeout with 38 seconds left on the clock.
On the following third and four, the Raiders' Josh Jacobs powered through for a first down, which essentially gave the Raiders new life and a chance to get into field goal range and kick the game-winning 47-yard field goal.
After a tremendous comeback that saw the Chargers return from two scores down in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime, it was all for not.
The game had major playoff implications as it was a "win-and-you're-in" scenario. However, a tie game would mean that both teams would enter the playoffs.
Staley said he called a timeout so he could get the right personnel on the field:
“We needed to get in the right grouping. We felt like they were going to run the ball, so we wanted to get our best 11 personnel run defense in, make that substitution so we could get a play where we would deepen the field goal.”
Even Raiders quarterback Derek Carr felt the timing of the timeout was strange, although he said it didn't change the Raiders' plans.
“It definitely did, obviously,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told NBC Sports. “But we knew, no matter what, we didn’t want a tie. We wanted to win the football game.”
What Carr said may be true, but who knows if the Raiders had decided to go in another direction, the Chargers might have been playoff bound as well.
Brandon Staley may be on the hot seat next year
For the second year in a row, the Chargers have missed the playoffs despite almost MVP-like numbers from quarterback Justin Herbert.
Herbert threw more touchdowns than Aaron Rodgers and deserves better than to play his heart out, only to be left out of the playoffs again.
Something needs to change and it might start with Staley. How much longer will the Chargers' brass put up with the incompetent decisions from their head coach?
The Miami Dolphins decided to make a change Monday by firing their head coach Brian Flores after they narrowly missed the playoffs again for the second year in a row.
Like the Chargers, the Dolphins have a quarterback coming out of college who they expect big things from and, so far, they have fallen short of expectations.
Expectations are high for this team next year, but failing to make the playoffs again may be the end of the Brandon Staley era in Los Angeles.
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