Brandon Staley needs to send Cade York a thank-you basket after the Chargers' Week 5 win over the Cleveland Browns. Staley went for the controversial decision to go for in on fourth and two from midfield only for the pass to fall incomplete and the Browns to suddenly be back in the game.
While Staley has a reputation for making bold decisions, this might have been a bridge too far for many fans. The Browns easily got into field-goal range and gave York a makeable 54-yard field goal attempt to send Staley and the Chargers home with their tail between their legs.
However, the rookie kicker missed a shorter game-winning kick than he made in Week 1 against Carolina, providing Staley and every Chargers fan a huge sigh of relief.
It wasn't just fans that were questioning Staley's decision to go for it on fourth down, though. One of the team's biggest players, Keenan Allen, had quite the response to Staley's call to go for it. Allen was at home as he is still nursing a hamstring injury and he did not mince his words when the Chargers turned it over on downs.
Keenan Allen tweeting about Brandon Staley's decision is a tough look for the Chargers.
There were rumblings earlier this season that Brandon Staley may have been losing a grip on the locker room. While beating the Houston Texans helped calm those rumblings, seeing the team's longest-tenured players outwardly questioning his coach's decision on Twitter is never a good look, regardless of how you spin it.
It ended up working for Staley but in the long run, this team is only going to go far if the players believe in the coaching staff and are buying into what they are trying to do. If that is not happening then the Bolts will never reach their potential.
In this specific instance, Staley would have been better off taking the more conservative approach and punting. The analytics say that Staley should have gone for it but the analytics do not factor in external things. They only factor in things on paper, and as we know, football is not played on paper.
The Browns had no timeouts and have a quarterback who just gift-wrapped an interception to the Chargers. This is a run-heavy team that would have had to drive at least 50 yards in order to get into field goal range in under a minute.
If this was Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs I would get it. Against Jacoby Brissett and the Browns? The Chargers can probably play the conservative route and just punt. If they wanted to be aggressive, they should have called a less vanilla run call on third and two the play prior.
Regardless, it does not matter what we think or what fans on Twitter think. It is about what those in the building think, particularly the players. It is clear that Keenan Allen didn't agree with the decision.