LA Chargers: Anthony Lynn could be on the hot seat, but not yet
By Jason Reed
Many think that Anthony Lynn’s seat could be heating up as the LA Chargers head coach.
The LA Chargers have started the season 1-2 and it has not been the prettiest 1-2 record. The team barely escaped with victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, controlled Week 2 against the Kansas City Cheifs but lost down the stretch with bad decision-making and dropped Week 3 against the Carolina Panthers because of their own mistakes.
The Chargers are now entering the toughest stretch of the schedule. The team has to play both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New Orleans Saints in back-to-back weeks on the road. The team could very well be 1-4.
After the disappointing loss to the Panthers, some Charger fans are upset and there are those that believe that Anthony Lynn’s seat is starting to heat up. While Lynn has been bad thus far this season, his seat is not yet warm.
However, if the LA Chargers win six or fewer games in 2020, Anthony Lynn may be on his way out
Way back in the summer months I wrote an article detailing why Anthony Lynn’s job security was a narrative that was not being talked about enough. I suggested back then that if the Chargers had another disappointing season then Lynn could be on his way out.
That article was not received very well back then but it looks all the more applicable now.
There is a possibility that this season spirals out of control. Yes, the Chargers are talented, but they are banged up and through three weeks I would not say they have been well-coached. Clock management, playcalling, penalties and turnovers. All the signs of bad coaching.
Does this mean Anthony Lynn is a bad coach? Not yet. But it is clear that this team is hurting form not having a preseason.
Yes, they had to force a rookie under center in Justin Herbert, but that cannot be an excuse. Herbert has been far better than Tyrod Taylor. This is not a Drew Brees–Teddy Bridgewater situation from last season.
It appears as if Taylor will get his job back once he has recovered from his punctured lung. The injury was not Taylor’s fault, was the team’s fault, and Taylor is Lynn’s guy. Despite how good Herbert plays, Lynn will give Taylor the chance to lose his job.
And that is where the wheels can begin to fall off.
Taylor is not going to play in Week 4 against Tampa Bay. Let’s say Herbert has another solid game but the team cannot overcome the Bucs on the road. That is not terrible for Herbert, the Bucs are a playoff-caliber team.
Then Taylor comes back. Even with a noodle arm this season, Drew Brees is a far better quarterback than Tyrod Taylor and the Saints have more talent than the Chargers. That could be a loss.
However, since it is the Saints, it is not viewed as Taylor’s fault by Lynn. Then we have the Jets, Dolphins, Jaguars and Raiders. The Chargers should go 4-0 in that stretch to move to 5-4. However, if we are being completely honest here, I am not confident in the team with Taylor under center, especially on the road in Miami.
Let’s say they split 2-2. That is good enough to keep Taylor’s job, because Lynn loves him and Herbert will be 0-3 in his three starts despite it not being his fault. Chargers are 3-6.
Then they have a battered Denver team in Denver, a revenge game for Taylor against Buffalo and a showdown against the New England Patriots and who the Chargers should have signed, Cam Newton.
That stretch screams 1-2 at best with Taylor under center. Finally, Anthony Lynn caves in and makes Herbert the starter. The Chargers are 4-8.
The Chargers then have the Falcons, Raiders, Broncos and Chiefs. If the team does not go 3-1 in that stretch then Lynn will officially be on the hot seat. A 6-10 record with this roster is inexcusable, and because of the quarterback situation and how I just outlined it, it is pretty conceivable that a 6-10 record happens.
Yes, Herbert would have a new head coach next season and the best thing for a rookie quarterback is consistency in the coaching. However, he still may have Pep Hamilton and the excuses for Lynn may run out.
Yes, he is a great player’s coach and would be an excellent position coach. A 6-10 record would make him 32-32 in four years. That might not seem bad, but the LA Chargers fired Norv Turner with a 56-40 record.
If he shows faith in Herbert earlier then he could save his job. However, if he clings on to this idea of Tyrod Taylor being a winning quarterback and it does not work out (Tyrod could prove me wrong) then it is easy to look at his decision-making, both in games and in personnel, and want to go a new direction.
It is too soon to say that he is on the hot seat but it is not hard to see it becoming a reality after the season.