Joshua Kelley’s fumble:
The LA Chargers had a 17-point lead with less than a minute remaining until halftime and were getting the ball after halftime. This is when things stopped looking as great for the team. Joshua Kelley fumbled deep in Chargers territory, the Bucs recovered and scored a touchdown.
It was not all Kelley’s fault. The hand-off was botched a bit by Herbert and the offensive line was blown up, leading Kelley to get hit far behind the line of scrimmage.
However, it is still inexcusable. This is when the game changed and things started to snowball. Many criticized Anthony Lynn’s playcalling, and rightfully so.
Some think that the Chargers should have taken a knee and I get that. However, with a quarterback with a big arm, I do not think kneeling was necessarily the way. They had two timeouts. They could have gotten close enough to try a field goal.
My problem with the call is that if you are going to go for the score there then go for it. If you are going to drain the clock then kneel. They easily could have attempted a designed 10+ yard play and if it did not work, throw the ball away and kneel to half. Instead, they turned the ball over the started the comeback for Tampa.
Casey Hayward and the secondary:
This was one of the worst defensive games I have ever seen the Chargers play since Gus Bradley took over the defense. In fact, this is the worst defensive game probably since the AFC Divisional Round against, you guessed it, Tom Brady.
The zone just was not working and the members of the secondary were awful in the second half. Casey Hayward had a terrible game, the linebackers had their same coverage issues and Tom Brady pretty much did whatever he wanted, in the second half.
Bruce Arians and the offense made adjustments heading into the second half and the Chargers didn’t and it showed. Sure, they are very banged up and that cannot go without mentioning, but this was still a really bad effort from the defense.