1. The LA Chargers not making a trade deadline acquisition
The LA Chargers had some very obvious holes on the roster that every fan could point out and argue were going to hold back the team. The front office did do a nice job in filling the holes that were on special teams, I will give them that. Dustin Hopkins and Andre Roberts gave the Chargers their best kicker/returner duo in... I don't know... a decade?
However, the team did not address the other glaring need on the roster that is the run defense. The Chargers defense struggled all year and while they dealt with a lot of injuries in the secondary the fact of the matter is that the team got bullied in the trenches and that had a domino effect that impacted the rest of the defense.
And what do you know, the run defense is ultimately the reason why the Chargers lost in Week 18. Sure, you could point out a myriad of mistakes that the Chargers made in that game but there are two moments that stood out that were simply failed execution.
The first was the third and 23 run by Josh Jacobs that resulted in a first down before half, which two players later turned into the awful defensive pass interference in the endzone, leading to six. The second was the third and four run at the end of overtime that the Chargers allowed 12 yards on. The Chargers knew they were running the ball and if they stop them then we are probably writing about a playoff game right now.
Even if it was a small move for one run-stuffing defensive tackle is could have made a difference. Who knows, they could have made a big play. Smaller players like that can absolutely have the saving grace play of big games that ends up winning the game. A perfect example is in the 2018 win over the Chiefs. Needing the ball back, the Chargers stopped the Chiefs on a three-and-out that started with Darius Philon recording a tackle for loss on first down.