The LA Chargers have not had the kind of season that fans were hoping for before the season. After having one of the most aggressive offseasons in franchise history, the Bolts have not been the contenders that fans were expecting them to be. At this point, making the playoffs is far from a guarantee.
To be fair to the Chargers, they have dealt with more injuries than any other team in the league. The easiest portion of the team's schedule is also coming up, so we very well could see the Bolts string some wins together and flip the narrative.
Right now, though, the narrative is that fans feel disappointed and they are directing that disappointment directly toward the coaching staff. Brandon Staley is not in good favor with the fanbase right now as there have been droves of fans calling for Sean Payton to become the new head coach as the year has progressed.
What fans want isn't always what the team is going to do, however. Just because a portion of the fanbase wants Staley axed does not meen that ownership will commit to doing that. That being said, the latest ESPN report does make some connections between what the fans want and what the team might actually do.
Brandon Staley could be on the hot seat if the Chargers miss the playoffs.
NFL insiders Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler penned in a recent ESPN column that Staley could be on the hot seat if the Bolts miss the playoff this season. That likely does not come as much of a surprise to fans who have watched the team this season.
It will be interesting to see how the organization handles the team potentially missing the playoffs. On one hand, ownership has invested more than ever into building a contending team and for those results to not follow would be a bad look for Staley and co.
However, Staley does have the built-in excuse of health on his side. It is really hard to win in the NFL and it is even harder when you suffer the kind of injuries that the Chargers have suffered. Just look at the Baltimore Ravens, who had a similar season in 2021 and missed the playoffs because of it.
But Staley does not have the same established security that John Harbaugh has in Baltimore. So with a big-name coach like Payton looming, we could see ownership make the bold move of parting ways with Staley, even if he finishes his two seasons with a winning record in Los Angeles.
The season is not over yet and while fans might be yearning for Staley to be let go, anything can happen in these last seven games. If the team gets healthy and exceeds expectations and finishes with 10-11 wins, are fans really going to still be pounding the table for Staley to be fired?
It is an interesting dichotomy to consider. Hopefully, Staley and the team can prove the fanbase wrong and actually give it something to cheer about.