Los Angeles Chargers haters around the world are still taking every opportunity to make fun of Brandon Staley for his late-game clock management in LA's Week 18 do-or-die tussle with the Las Vegas Raiders. The ending of that game remains just as painful as ever a few months later.
Rather than allow the clock to run out and give LA a very challenging long field goal, Staley decided to call time out with under a minute left. On the very next play, Josh Jacobs plowed deep into Chargers territory and made Daniel Carlson's game-winning kick even easier to pull off.
While Chargers Twitter and a good chunk of NFL Twitter ran right up Staley's rear end for what they believed to be a classic case of overthinking things, his timeout may not have been that consequential. Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia, now with the Packers, supports this.
Bisaccia called the timeout from Staley "irrelevant," stating that the Raiders were in a good position to attempt a game-winning field goal no matter what happened in the following play. The fact that Jacobs broke off such a big run is a result of the Chargers not executing on defense rather than Staley's decision.
Rich Bisaccia said the Chargers' timeout didn't matter.
Considering that Staley arrived on a team still suffering from the mismanagement of Anthony Lynn and he took them to within one game of the playoffs in his first season, his acumen as a coach remains impressive. One timeout shouldn't completely cover up the job he's done in his first full season.
If Jacobs is stopped in the backfield, thus setting up an even more implausible kick, the Staley timeout would not have been such a hotly-debated issue even if Carlson made the kick. The Raiders didn't even do anything with their postseason appearance, as the AFC champion Bengals dispatched them.
At the risk of sounding curt and blunt, the Chargers' defense simply did not execute in that game. Herbert did everything he could to put that team in a position to win the game, yet an inability to slow down Carr and the Raiders ended up being their undoing.
The unfortunate reality of the NFL states that Staley is going to be designated as a poor clock manager until he proves differently. However, testimony from names like Bisaccia should go to show that anyone who is still irate about Staley's timeout usage is not being a reasonable fan.