The LA Chargers had a chance to firmly put themselves in a good position in the AFC playoff picture with a win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 11. Instead, the Chargers fell 30-27 and are now 5-5 on the season, essentially needing to finish 5-2 to make the playoffs.
Beating the Chiefs is never an easy task for any team and the Chargers gave Kansas City a run for its money. A touchdown pass to Joshua Palmer with less than two minutes remaining gave the Chargers a four-point lead but it was not enough. Patrick Mahomes was on the other sideline.
While some may simply tip their hat to Mahomes for putting together a great game-winning drive, the reality is that the Chargers played very ugly football in the second half and were saved by a massive play between Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen. Without that 46-yard completion on third and 18, the conversation would be completely different.
Another horrible second half should put the Chargers coaching in the spotlight.
This is not the first time that the Chargers have turned in an awful second half. Heck, fans saw a very similar story last week on primetime against the San Francisco 49ers. If it was not for Herbert and Allen's insane connection the team would have been blanked in the second half for the second straight week.
This trend has only increased the spotlight on the Chargers' coaching and the culture around the team. While the team has done great to overcome adversity, there seems to be this mental block that attacks them in the second half that has to be attributed to those running the show.
Last week it was more understandable with the injuries that the team was dealing with but it did not make the play-calling any better. This week, we saw a very similar mindset from the team. Instead of putting their put on the gas and playing to win, the Chargers took a more cautious approach and played not to lose.
You can get away with playing not to lose against teams like the Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders and Denver Broncos. You will never get away with playing that way against a good team like Kansas City.
Look, anyone that is calling for the coaching staff to be fired after Week 11 is out of their mind. That is essentially punting on the season as Staley and his staff has such a stronghold over everything this team does. You have to stick with it, for better or worse.
But it would be nefarious to say that the coaching in this game was good. The team was absolutely outplayed and outcoached in the second half.