1. Not going for it on fourth and one in overtime
This is the decision that made me pull my hair out. To be completely transparent, I was so frustrated by this decision that I had to walk away from the TV and only came back with the Chiefs were attempting the game-winning field goal. This was a terrible decision not only in hindsight, but in the moment as well.
I’d go from it there, personally.
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) September 20, 2020
The Chargers had fourth and one in the first drive of overtime from their own 34. Instead of going for it to extend the drive and give themselves a chance to score and win, Anthony Lynn instead opted to punt the ball away to the Chiefs.
This is an awful mistake considering the opponent. Yes, the defense was fantastic all day, but you are playing the best team in football with the best offense in football with a top-three kicker in football. They got the ball at their own 21 and only had to go 39 yards to kick the field goal.
If this was the Las Vegas Raiders then sure, I get it. But the defense was tired, just allowed the Chiefs to drive down the field and kick a game-tying field goal and again — THEY HAVE PATRICK MAHOMES.
Yes, if the Chargers do not get the first down then they lose right away. But against the Chiefs, you CANNOT play to not lose. You have to play to win. This was a “playing to not lose” decision.
Yes, the Chargers also have not been great on fourth downs this year, but if the Chargers don’t have a fourth and one play that they can pull out of their hats for moments like this then we have to question the coaching staff. It is ONE YARD. BE CREATIVE. You have a six-six mobile quarterback and one of the most elusive running backs in the game.
According to EdjSports, this decision by Anthony Lynn was regarded as the third-worst coaching decision of Week 2, decreasing the Chargers’ chances of winning by 6.9 percent. (h/t Daniel Popper).