The LA Chargers did not play on Thanksgiving but those paying close attention still learned something about what the future of the team could look like.
There were two different coordinators who coached on Thanksgiving that are lined up to potentially be the next head coach of the Chargers. Although history disagrees, all signs are pointing to the Chargers moving on from Brandon Staley if the team misses the playoffs. With just a 15% chance of making it, fans are already looking ahead at the potential candidates.
Two of those potential candidates are Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson and Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Surprisingly, it was the less-exciting coaching option that won the day and left a bigger mark on fans.
Chargers fans were more impressed with Dan Quinn than Ben Johnson on Thanksgiving
Quinn's Cowboys defense put on yet another spectacle on primetime against the Washington Commanders. Not only did the defense hold Washington to 10 points, but Dallas cornerback Daron Bland made NFL history.
Late in the fourth quarter Bland intercepted Sam Howell and took the pass back to the house for six points. This was Bland's fifth pick-six of the season, which set an NFL record for the most pick-sixes in one year (he still has six more games to play).
Quinn was visibly hyped for Bland, who has been a key part of this elite Cowboys defense this season. With the Chargers defense being one of the worst in the league, seeing a defense like this was a sight for sore eyes on Thanksgiving.
Johnson's Lions, meanwhile, did not have as much success. The Lions lost as over-touchdown favorites at home against the Green Bay Packers, scoring just 22 points (seven of which came in the last minute of the game down 14).
Turnovers plagued the Lions in this game as they lost the turnover differential 3-0. That negated what was a strong offensive day in terms of yardage, as the Lions put up 464 yards of offense and still lost the game. That didn't matter, though, as the team only scoring 22 points was not impressive.
Despite this showing on Thanksgiving, Johnson is still the far better head coaching option than Quinn. Some Chargers fans may prefer Quinn because of his experience being a head coach but it is that experience that should worry fans.
Sure, Quinn made the Super Bowl in Atlanta but he was also at the helm for the worst playoff loss in American sports history. Do we really want to bring that kind of juju to an already cursed Chargers franchise?
Plus, Quinn's defense only finished in the top 10 once in his tenure with Atlanta when the team was successful as a whole it was off the back of Kyle Shanahan's offense. Without Shanahan, Quinn was not nearly as successful. He finished his tenure right around .500 with a disappointing defense. Doesn't that sound awfully similar to Brandon Staley?
Johnson is one of the most anticipated head coaching candidates for a reason. What he has been able to do with Jared Goff in that offense has been remarkable. Just imagine what he could do with Justin Herbert and Co.