The LA Chargers suffered one of the worst losses in franchise history on Thursday night as the Las Vegas Raiders scored 63 points with a backup quarterback under center. The loss was so bad that head coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco were swiftly fired on Friday morning; marking the first time this century that the Chargers have fired a coach before season's end.
It is a new era in Los Angeles and Chargers fans are focused on the future. With Easton Stick under center and Giff Smith as the interim head coach, fans aren't too worried about the final three games of the season. Instead, they are focused on the upcoming head coaching search and offseason.
A big part of the offseason, because the team is strapped for cash, is going to be the 2024 NFL Draft. If the Chargers make the right hire and have a solid draft then they absolutely can be a playoff team next season. Getting the highest pick possible, thus maximizing draft capital, should be the team's M-O.
Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario for the Chargers' draft position on Sunday happened. There are still three more weeks for the Bolts to climb the draft board, but Sunday was not a good start.
Chargers were big losers on Sunday without even playing.
The Chargers needed four teams to win on Sunday in order to help the team's draft position. Expecting all four teams to win was a bit far-fetched but all four teams definitely could have won their respective games.
Los Angeles needed the Chicago Bears, Tennessee Titans, New York Giants and New York Jets to win on Sunday. Both Chicago and Tennessee were leading late in their respective games and fell victim to a game-winning field goal. However, the Titans' SOS is now higher than the Chargers so they are picking after the Bolts if the two teams have the same record.
The two New York teams were in uncompetitive games but they had beatable opponents. The Miami Dolphins were playing without Tyreek Hill and it looked early on like that would hamper the offense. It didn't. Meanwhile, the Giants were playing the losing-record New Orleans Saints, who handled them easily.
After Sunday's action, the Chargers find themselves with the eighth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. It seems unlikely that the Bolts win another game, though, so there is still room to climb.