Chargers head coach Brandon Staley came into the 2023 season needing to prove that the job was his to keep. Staley's team blew a 27-0 lead in the AFC Wild Card Round and many fans were calling for the Bolts to change head coaches then.
Instead, the front office showed faith in Staley and gave him more year, which was a huge "prove it" year for both him and GM Tom Telesco. The 2023 season has been extremely up-and-down, with the Chargers failing to ever get above .500 but always playing the best teams in the league closely.
That was ultimately what kept Staley around. The Chargers were beating the teams they should beat and were barely losing to the teams that they "should" have lost to. It wasn't enough to make the fanbase happy, but it was enough to keep ownership from breaking a 25-year streak of not firing a head coach in-season.
Well, that all may have changed after Week 11. The Chargers dropped the most painful loss of the season against the Green Bay Packers to move to 4-6. According to The New York Times, the Chargers now have just a 14% chance of making the playoffs.
It is time for the Chargers to move on from Brandon Staley
There are no more excuses. If there was ever a time for the Chargers to move on from Brandon Staley and usher in a new era, it is now. With a 4-6 record (and a really good Baltimore Ravens team on the schedule next week), it is safe to say that the dream of making the playoffs is over. It is time to look ahead at the future.
By firing Staley, the Chargers could promote Kellen Moore to interim head coach and see what he has in that role. Moore has been exceptional for the Chargers offense and might be a head coach candidate in 2024 anyway. There is no better way to see if he has what it takes than to give him some run now as the head coach.
Sunday was yet another painful reminder that this team is never going to have it with Staley calling the shots. Losing close games is part of the NFL experience and no coach is immune to losing these games. But the best-coached teams in the league win these games. Losing close games over and over isn't something to celebrate, it is a sign of bad coaching that cannot get over the hump.
Defensively, Staley will probably bank on the fact that they only allowed 23 points in the loss. However, Green Bay missed two different kicks that would have resulted in the team scoring 27 points. Even then, it wasn't like the defense was any good.
Jordan Love set a career-high in passing yards against the Chargers. Green Bay picked up 397 yards of total offense. They converted 50% of their third-down attempts and won the time of possession by keeping the Chargers off the field.
Yet again, Staley's defense crumbled in the biggest spot of the game. With the Packers needing a touchdown to take the lead, Staley's defense had a third and 20. Two stops and the Chargers win the game. Instead, Asante Samuel Jr. committed pass interference to allow the first down. Just a handful of plays later, the Packers scored an easy touchdown.
Rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston dropped what probably would have been the game-winning touchdown on the last drive of the game to take some of the stink off the defense. But fans won't forget about how bad the defense played in this game. Neither should ownership.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting there to be different results. The Chargers have been getting the same results over and over and over again. When is it enough?
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