The LA Chargers were unable to climb above .500 for the first time this season as the Bolts fell 41-38 to the Detroit Lions in Week 10. As a result, the Bolts are 4-5 and have had their playoff hopes all but dashed.
The biggest takeaway from the loss was the poor defensive showing from Brandon Staley's unit. Justin Herbert had one of his best games of the year and the defense could not hold up its end, getting pushed around for over 500 yards and 41 points.
This has, rightfully, reignited the hot seat under Staley as the Chargers enter the second half of the season needing to turn things around. It isn't just the fanbase that is unhappy with Staley, though, as former Chargers coaches are now taking shots as the current head coach.
Wade Phillips asks the same question about the Chargers as every fan
Wade Phillips was the defensive coordinator of the Chargers from 2004 through 2006 and put together one of the best defenses in franchise history in that 2006 season. While that 14-2 Chargers team is remembered for its offensive legends, like LaDainian Tomlinson, the defensive side of the ball was great as well.
The Chargers ranked seventh in points allowed and 10th in yards allowed in 2006. That Chargers team allowed 27 or more points just three times throughout the season, which would be a godsend for this current Chargers team with Justin Herbert.
Phillips did such a good job that he earned a head coaching job with the Dallas Cowboys. Like Staley, Phillips didn't totally work out as a head coach, but he at least put together a great defense that helped capitalize on a strong Chargers offense.
There is some added history between Phillips and Staley as well. Staley was hired by the LA Rams just weeks after the Rams decided not to renew Phillips' contract in January 2020. Under Staley, the Rams went from the 17th scoring defense in the sport to the No. 1 scoring defense in the sport.
Perhaps there is some added animosity from Phillips, who has not coached in the NFL since being let go by the Rams. Phillips is currently the head coach and GM of the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL.
Of course, that kind of success has not followed Staley to the Chargers as the Bolts have been one of the worst defensive teams in the sport since he was hired. Maybe Staley needs to give Phillips a call and ask for some pointers on how he can maximize this unit and capitalize on a great offense.
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