3 Key X-factors in the Chargers Week 18 Matchup against the Raiders
3. Will both Brandon Staley and Rich Bisaccia stick to their tendencies?
Both Brandon Staley and Rich Bisaccia deserve loads of credit for getting their respective teams to this win-and-in scenario, despite the different circumstances around the franchises.
Chargers coach Brandon Staley is in his first year as a head coach and is the youngest one in the NFL. Even with the implementation of a new, young staff, trying to manage an injury and COVID-19 riddled team, and being left with a broken roster due to the shortcomings of GM Tom Telesco, Staley has used his innovative coaching techniques, analytics-based approaches, and 4th down aggressiveness to get the Chargers where they are now. Without the core values and decision-making Brandon Staley has led with the entire season, the Chargers would be nowhere near the 9-7 record they currently hold.
On the opposing hand, Raiders interim head coach Rich Bisaccia has had to deal with the league's most volitaile situation. Even though he's only managed a record of 4-5 in his nine games as interim coach, Bisaccia has done well to keep the team afloat during a tulmultous season. He took over after Jon Gruden was let go, and endured wild circumstances such as the Henry Ruggs incident, rescheduled games, the video of Damon Arnette, and the recent Nate Hobbs arrest.
Bisaccia has been a special teams coordinator most of his life and lacks the experience of being the captain in command. Despite his predecessor Jon Gruden being a risk-taker and gambler on the football field, Bisaccia has lent on being very conservative in his decision making, often punting on typical go-for-it situations, and being conservative in certain time constraints and field positions.
In these pressurized environments, coaches can sometimes make rash decisions and avoid tendencies that got them to their respective situations. In this matchup on Sunday night, it'll be interesting to evaluate how each coach holds up with the consistency in their approaches. Will Staley be aggressive in 4th down or 4th and goal scenarios? Will Bisaccia continue with his conservative approach that sees his team hang in the game as long as possible?
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Only time will tell how these men lead their teams into their biggest matchup in years, and for the sake of outside criticism, they better hope they make the proper decisions.