Whisenhunt’s Playcalling Dooms Chargers


Aug 8, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Once again, Ken Whisenhunt decides that he knows best. Despite openly admitting that we need to change our red zone approach on “Chargers Insider” yesterday, he continued to employ the same exact game plan. He basically said that he knows better than the announcers, the fans, the experts, the pundits… and just about anyone with a set of eyeballs.. that he knows how to score in the red zone. Unfortunately, he has no clue what he is doing in there. He is like a virgin, fumbling with a bra snap in the back seat of a car on a first date at Lover’s Lane.

My only assumption is that (even though him and McClain were put in on the final series of regulation) Ryan Mathews has another broken collarbone? Whisenhunt refused to use Mathews all game, and avoided him like the plague in the red zone. All of this after Mathews went over 100 yards in his last two outings, and controlling the clock was obviously the key to the game. Mathews also pounded the rock into the end zone the ONE time that he was asked to. Instead, he used everyone except for Mathews, and we dearly paid the price.

To make things worse, this was a game where the defense scored a TD, blocked two FG’s, and batted down numerous balls. It may not have been our best defensive game, but they made key stops when they needed to. Keenan Allen may have dropped a crucial pass, but he made a series of clutch plays to keep the Chargers in the game. Danny Woodhead dang near broke his nose putting the ball on the one yard line. It was all gift wrapped for Ken Whisenhunt, with two time outs, a set of fresh downs, and plenty of time left.

So, all you need to do is put McClain & Mathews in, pound it in for the touchdown, and end the game…. right?


Ken Whisenhunt (who should have been relieved of his duties much earlier in the game, by ex-Denver offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy) proceeds to do his “Norv Turner pass the ball routine” in the red zone for the tenth time in a row. Unsurprisingly, it failed, as it has almost every time before.

You know what? I have a great deal of respect for Tom Telesco. However, the verdict is still out on coach McCoy for me. He is responsible for not letting the coaches under him continue to make inexplicably bad play calls. He is the head coach. Norv was fired for a reason. When a team would gift wrap a victory for him.. like Washington did today… he simply didn’t have the common sense that it takes to get the job done. He couldn’t get the easiest of jobs done. After the Raiders goal line stop, and the Redskins goal line stop… neither of which Mathews was used in… Ken Whisenhunt has shown that he is the same kind of play caller that Norv was. He should be replaced stat.

I don’t usually call for replacement, after such a small amount of time. But, if you are at this stage in your career, and you don’t understand that you need to use your heavy hitters at the goal line, in a crucial road game… then you don’t have the winning attitude that I am looking for. If you were to put Mike Shanahan in there, instead of Whisenhunt, he would have run the ball. That’s a fact. That’s exactly what Shannahan did to us, when given the chance. Why? Because he is not that stupid. Not once, not twice, and definitely not consistently. He must have been totally amazed at Whisenhunt’s negligence. I certainly was. Embarrassing.

This loss may have ended the chances for the Chargers to get into the playoffs. We can thank Ken Whisenhunt for that. When your team is barely hanging on during a game, and your defense has made some decent stops, but is not dominating… you should never get fancy… like he did in Houston, like he did in Oakland, and like he did today. You just close the game out.

Why he did not do that today, or any of those other games, will be a mystery to me as long as I live. I am totally unimpressed. Dean should put Tom on notice, who should tell Mike, who should hand Whisenhunt his pink slip. I have no confidence in this play calling moving forward. Don’t even get me started on “IF” we made it to the playoffs. It’s so disappointing to watch a team that should be 7-1, go 4-4, because the one guy being paid millions of dollars for his expertise has no clue how to close out an easy victory.

I will be looking for that Ryan Mathews injury report.

Keep Bolting Toward Excellence… I think.

Peter Thompson