The LA Chargers went into Lambeau Field in Week 11 looking to move back to .500 to stay in an AFC playoff race that suddenly became wide-open. With a fluttering Green Bay Packers offense that hadn't scored more than 20 points in over two months, it seemed like Brandon Staley and his team had a perfect recipe for success.
That recipe was ultimately faulty as the Chargers dropped yet another close game, 23-20, to fall to 4-6 on the season. Now, the Chargers have just a 14% chance of making the playoffs, per the NY Times.
The biggest takeaway from the game was Quentin Johnston's horrific drop on the Chargers' last offensive drive of the game that likely would have resulted in a game-winning touchdown. However, that did not take away from the negative feedback for Brandon Staley, who lost yet another close game and put together yet another poor defensive game plan.
Jordan Love set a career-high in passing yards and the Chargers were unable to get the Packers off the field (despite having a third and 20 at one point) when the game mattered the most. After yet another poor defensive performance, Staley was once again asked about his defense and whether or not there would be changes in tow. This seemed to upset the third-year head coach, who made it very clear that he would remain the defensive play-caller of the team no matter what.
Brandon Staley's ego is on full display after reporters question Chargers defense
This is not the first time that Staley has seemingly taken a question personally in his press conferences. There has been a lot of pressure on the Chargers head coach this season, which was well-deserved considering how the 2022 season ended for the Chargers.
It would be one thing if the results backed Staley's weird optimism but that is simply not the case at all. Heading into Week 11 the Chargers ranked 24th in points allowed and 31st in total yards allowed. Los Angeles has objectively been one of the worst defensive teams in the league, which is the exact area where Staley is meant to succeed.
It didn't stop with Staley pushing back at the idea of him giving up defensive play-calling duties, either. Staley was continually asked about the defensive play and finally had enough, telling reporters that the entire team lost the game, not just the defense.
"There are a lot of other things that caused us to lose today. It certainly wasn't our defense. It was the way we played as a team. We didn't play well enough in the red zone on offense. We dropped too many passes. We gave up a few killer sacks. We did this as a team. Stop making it about one unit because that is not what happened out there today. Our team lost and I am fully responsible for it and I take full responsibility, but we lost as a team today and that is the storyline. "
This might be the first time I have ever heard a head coach get so defensive about one side of the ball that he is willing to admit to the media that the team played poorly in literally every other aspect to justify the loss.
Staley cannot stomach the criticism of his defense, so he would rather go out and tell reporters every other thing that the Chargers did wrong in this game. Did he forget that he is the head coach, not the defensive coordinator? If anything, outwardly pointing out every single mistake your team made makes you look worse, not better!
How dare anyone question a defense that is allowing the second-most yards in the entire NFL? How dare reporters question Staley's play-calling, even though his defense has allowed the fourth-most points per game in the NFL since he was hired in 2021?
All the signs are pointing at one man failing to do his job and he is dragging the rest of the team down with him.