The LA Chargers lost the most heartbreaking game of the year in Week 11 as the team fell 23-20 to the Green Bay Packers. A calamity of errors kept the Chargers from winning the game as it was yet another example of a poorly-coached football team.
There was plenty of blame to be thrown around on both sides of the ball. Drops plagued the Chargers with Quentin Johnston having the worst possible drop in the biggest spot of the game. Defensively, the Chargers were unable to get off the field when the Bolts had a lead late (even though they forced a third and 20 in Packers' territory).
It was an ugly game for the Chargers and an ugly post-game press conference for head coach Brandon Staley. Staley blew up at reporters in the post-game press conference for questioning his defense and whether or not he would continue to call plays. Staley did not stand for any slander of his defense, and instead offered up the many other reasons why the Bolts lost the game.
That included Austin Ekeler's fumble within the five-yard line. With the Chargers trailing by three early in the fourth quarter Ekeler fumbled the ball and the Packers took over. It was not the only offensive woe that Staley called out, and he didn't say Ekeler's name out loud, but he still had no problem pointing it out.
Brandon Staley has no problem calling out Austin Ekeler's fumble during Chargers loss
To be fair, what Staley is saying is fair. The Chargers certainly left points on the board in this game because of the fumble and the drops that occurred in the red zone. It is not like Staley is making this up as it definitely did have an impact on how many points the Chargers scored.
The ugly part about this is the fact that Staley was pushing back so heavily at the idea that his defense lost this game. Staley didn't have to directly call out Ekeler's fumble, especially considering the Packers didn't do anything with it and the Chargers marched down and scored on the next drive anyway.
But calling it out as part of the bigger story, as bad as it was, isn't totally fair to Ekeler. Because even if that fumble didn't happen and the Chargers would have scored, the defense still would have allowed Jordan Love to march down the field and score. That defensive drive was more impactful to the final decision than Ekeler's fumble was in the grand scheme of things.
Regardless of what the "story" was, the fact of the matter is that Staley is the head coach and the buck stops with him. Losing close, heartbreaking games has been a trend under his watch and there is nobody to blame for that but him.