The LA Chargers' season was unofficially ended in Week 14 as the team fell to 5-8 and lost Justin Herbert for the rest of the season in the process. While the Chargers were not statistically eliminated from the playoffs, it was clear to every fan that the season was all but over.
It was apparently clear to the players as well as the Chargers outright did not show up four days later in the team's Thursday Night Football game against the Las Vegas Raiders. In what might be the most embarrassing half in franchise history, the Chargers were outscored 42-0 in the first half against a Raiders team that is also 5-8.
It did not take a rocket scientist to watch the game and see the faces on the sideline to realize that this team has checked out. Its over. The players don't care anymore. Don't trust our opinion? Just ask head coach Brandon Staley. He himself (unintentionally) has told us that this team has given up on him and his message.
Brandon Staley has clearly lost the Chargers locker room
I mean, this is as poetic as it comes. Before the season really went off the rails, Staley seemed to take pride in the Chargers' close losses. Week after week he would push back on criticism and use the team's several close losses as some kind of defense for his argument.
The Chargers were absolutely blown out of the stadium and Staley has outed himself. He probably wishes that he could have this comment back because there is no coming back from this. You cannot take pride in close losses and then try to justify this blowout loss.
Staley lost the fanbase a long time ago and on Thursday night, it became clear that he also lost the locker room. He can blame it on injuries, or call the Raiders a "great team" all he wants. The truth in the NFL bears itself out between the hash marks and the truth was on full display for a national audience.
Whether or not this is Staley's last game as the Chargers head coach remains to be seen. Either way, this game will be remembered as the one where he completely lost the locker room and his job in the process.