Posted on: December 15, 2023, 02:33h.
Last updated on: December 15, 2023, 02:33h.
The Los Angles Chargers fired head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tommy Telesco the morning after an embarrassing 42-point loss against the Las Vegas Raiders last night.
The Raiders destroyed the Chargers, 63-21, on Thursday Night Football in Sin City. The Raiders were a -3 favorite and easily cover the point spread in a 42-point shellacking.
The Chargers did not have quarterback Justin Hebert or wide receiver Keenan Allen in the lineup due to injuries. Backup quarterback Easton Stick had a short week to prepare for a division rival, but the rest of the Chargers did not compete and looked like they quit as early as the first quarter.
The banged-up Raiders started rookie backup quarterback Aidan O’Connell, and did not have running back Josh Jacobs in the lineup due to a quad injury.
The Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels after a 3-5 start this season. Since interim head coach Antonio Pierce took over, the Raiders went 3-3.
The Chargers slipped to 5-9 on the season, and currently occupy last place in the AFC West. They had one of the worst betting records in the NFL this season with a 5-9 clip against the point spread.
Staley: Dead Man Walking Prior to Week 15
The Chargers wanted to fire Staley last offseason after they blew a 27-0 lead against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs. Ownership decided to give him one more chance because he had multiple years remaining on his contract. If the Chargers could win a playoff game this season, then Staley would most likely retain his job.
The Chargers had another disappointing season that was punctuated with a season-ending injury to Herbert last Sunday. Herbert fractured the index finger on his throwing hand and underwent surgery. The Chargers were about to miss the playoffs before Herbert’s injury, but they were doomed after he was ruled out for the remainder of the season.
The Chargers wanted to wait until the end of the season to replace Staley, but that was before an embarrassing blowout in Las Vegas. Team owner Dean Spanos had seen enough, and he fired both Stely and Telesco.
I want to thank Tom and Brandon for their hard work, dedication and professionalism, and wish both them and their great families nothing but the best,” Spanos said in an official statement. “These decisions are never easy, nor are they something I take lightly — especially when you consider the number of people they impact. We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision. Doing nothing in the name of continuity was not a risk I was willing to take.”
Staley replaced former head coach Anthony Lynn in 2021, and he went 34-34 in his first head coaching job.
“Our fans have stood strong through so many ups and downs and close games,” added Spanos. “They deserve more. Frankly, they’ve earned more. Building and maintaining a championship-caliber program remains our ultimate goal.”
Chargers Never Recovered from 27-0 Collapse
Herbert looked like he was about to secure his first career playoff win last January. They held a 27-0 lead before the Jaguars stormed back and defeated the Chargers, 31-30, during Wild Card Weekend.
The Chargers hired Kellen Moore as their new offensive coordinator in the offseason, and they were stacked on the offense. Their defense was shaky to begin the season and gradually deteriorated. Their first five games were decided by one score, and eight games this season were decided by a one-score margin.
The Chargers allowed 24.6 points per game, and were the sixth-worst scoring defense in the NFL. Their porous secondary allow 261.4 passing yards per game, which was ranked fourth worst in the league. Opponents averaged 375.3 yards per game this season, and only three other teams allowed more yardage.
Staley, the former defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams, was considered one of the premier defensive-minded coaches in the NFL when he accepted his first head coaching position with the Chargers. Insiders were baffled with the move because a coach with more offensive experience would have been a better fit to mentor the young and talented Herbert.
Even though Staley had a strong defensive pedigree, the Chargers defense underperformed during his tenure. The Chargers allowing the Raiders to score 63 points last night was the final nail in Staley’s coffin.
Who Wants to Coach the Bolts?
The Chargers will have no problem finding a head coach despite a flurry of potential openings because they have a superstar quarterback with Herbert.
There’s been no shortage of rumors floating around New England that owner Robert Kraft will part ways with the legendary head coach Bill Belichick at the end of the season. Belichick has been linked to both the Chargers and Washington Commanders.
Offensive coordinators Ben Johnson from the Detroit Lions, Eric Bieniemy from the Commanders, and Frank Smith from the Miami Dolphins are at the top of the list of potential head coaches. Both offensive gurus would love a chance to work with Herbert, and vice versa.
If the Chargers want to hire from within the organization, then they could turn to Moore. Moore is the current offensive coordinator, but he lacks head coaching experience. If Spanos names Moore interim head coach, then Moore can audition for the full-time job in the final three weeks of the season.
Jim Harbaugh dealt with multiple scandals with the Michigan Wolverines this season. His days in Ann Arbor might be numbered, but Harbaugh could return to the NFL next season if Michigan does not win the college football national championship in January.