LA Chargers Week 12 Overreactions: Justin Herbert figured out?
By Tyler Gallagher
Overreaction #3: Anthony Lynn is the worst head coach in the league when it comes to clock management
While Anthony Lynn was blamed for poor clock management early in his head coaching career, many defended him by saying that his management of the clock would improve over time. Certainly, many of these calls are not easy, and it takes experience to improve in that area.
However, Anthony Lynn has demonstrated this season that he has not improved in this critical area.
While most coaches make one or two poor clock management decisions per season, it seems that Anthony Lynn is routinely making one per game, with many of them having a hand in losses.
Against the Las Vegas Raiders, it was allowing 28 seconds to roll off of the clock at the end of the game before calling a timeout. Against the New York Jets, it was a timeout at an inexplicable time, when taking a delay of game would have taken the game closer to its conclusion.
Against the Buffalo Bills, Anthony Lynn seemed to be making a good decision to go for it on 4th & 2 near midfield with little time left in the first half before calling a timeout after a decent amount of time rolled off of the clock. He subsequently elected to punt.
If you are going for it, then why wait so long to call the timeout, particularly when the offense was ready for the snap? If you are punting it, why call a timeout and give the Bills enough time to put a drive together if they choose to do so?
When Daniel Popper of The Athletic asked Anthony Lynn why they did not call the timeout earlier, Lynn responded “I’m not sure.”
This may have instead been a problem of communication or decision making, but regardless, it turned into a nasty situation of poor clock management.
Later in the same game, the Chargers clock management turned even worse. Anthony Lynn somehow managed to burn all three of his timeouts before the clock was down to three minutes in a game in which timeouts clearly needed to be conserved.
Then, the game ended in an embarrassing sequence after a miraculous Tyron Johnson catch. The run with just over twenty seconds left was a horrible idea, and it was followed up by an embarrassing confusion between the field goal unit and offense.
Good head coaches can be allowed to have a lapse or two in clock management over the course of the season. However, when they are not calling plays and have few other distractions, that should be a rarity each season.
That has not been the case for Anthony Lynn. He is one of, if not the worst, in clock management in the league, and his decisions are simply unacceptable of a head coach in his fourth year. When a coach is costing the team games, it is time for him to go.
Verdict #3: Not an overreaction