Coming off of two consecutive wins, the LA Chargers looked to jump above .500 for the first time in the 2023 season with a tough game against the Detroit Lions in Week 10. The Bolts were unable to do that, losing an entertaining 41-38 slugfest to fall to 4-5 on the season.
Unfortunately, this is exactly the kind of game that Chargers fans have become accustomed to losing. Four of the team's five losses are by three points or fewer. Yet somehow, this loss was perhaps the most painful of the season.
Justin Herbert and the offense returned to form and played its best game of the entire season against the Lions. Herbert was borderline perfect and was able to keep the Chargers in the game despite the deck being stacked against him. This, too, is a familiar feeling for Chargers fans.
Brandon Staley fails Justin Herbert yet again in Chargers loss.
Let's not forget that Brandon Staley was touted as a defensive genius when the Chargers hired him back in 2021. Despite that title, the results never followed as the Chargers have consistently been one of the worst defenses in the league under Staley.
Week 10's performance may have been the worst of his head coaching tenure. While Detroit has a great offense, there is no reason for a team to be outclassed in the capacity that the Chargers were outclassed. Every single Lions drive ended in Chargers' territory. Detroit picked up over 500 yards of offense.
It is simply indicative of a bigger issue for the Chargers. Staley's defense looked great against backup-quality quarterbacks but the moment this team plays a good offense it all falls apart. There have been 12 games this season in which an offense picked up 475 yards or more. The Chargers' defense has allowed four of those games. One-third of the league's 475-yard games are against Staley's defense.
And that is why Chargers fans have been pounding the table for the team to make a head-coaching change. If Staley cannot even pilot a league-average defense, then what exactly is he doing? Providing social media-worthy quotes during press conferences?
This isn't the first time that Staley wasted an excellent Justin Herbert performance and it probably won't be the last. This defense needs work and it needs to be fixed by someone else.