Chargers’ Brandon Staley on Wednesday-down call vs. Chiefs: ‘That’s How We’ll Play’

The Chargers relied on their belligerence on Thursday night against the Chiefs. Coach Brandon Staley thought he needed to get past one of the NFL’s top offensive teams to win, so he skipped his kick game.

Result? Mixed, at best. And after Los Angeles (8-6) lost 34-28 in extra time, Staley’s difficult charging methods came under scrutiny.

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He won it from fourth to five times in the first three quarters, with a conversion offense twice. Twice, it failed to convert near the goal line, including in the opening game and at the end of the first half.

Staley doesn’t care about any second guessers, or any first guessers, for that matter.

“That’s how we’re going to play here. That’s how we’re going to play. When we have a midfielder like ours (Justin Herbert) and we have an offense like ours, that’s the way.” We’re going to play because that’s the way you need to play against Kansas City for sure, and that’s how we’re going to be the team we’re ultimately capable of becoming, by playing that way,” Staley said. after the game.

In fact, Staley has been one of the NFL’s most aggressive coaches this season. Five tries on Thursday brought LA ​​down to third place in the NFL with 26. It hit 15th with a 57.6% success rate, 12th best in the league. During Week 3 in Kansas City, Chargers switched on 4th and 4th from the Chiefs’ 28 early in Q4 and continued to lead. They won it again from KC 35 in a last-minute draw and pulled out a penalty that obstructed the pass. They scored the final goal to win the following two innings.

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It’s impossible to say what would happen on Thursday if Staley called up Dustin Hopkins’ scoring attempts once or twice, but the game math and, perhaps, the battle of positions will change. And will the LA defense play better complementary football? It apparently failed immediately after the first miss.

With that, evaluate Staley’s five fourth down-calls and the consequences of each call:

First quarter: Fourth goal and goal from captain number 5

LA fell into the Kansas City red zone in the first minute of the game, but driving quickly stalled. Staley wanted six points instead of three to start the game, so he continued to foul on the field. Herbert’s pass to Donald Parham Jr in the back of the last zone was not completed. Parham suffered a head injury on a hard landing and had to be carried off the field on a stretcher.

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After the game resumed, Kansas City responded with a 13-meter, 95-yard touch to open the scoring. LA fell 7-0 after being well positioned to take an early lead in a season-ending game.

Second Quarter: Four-and-1 from Team Leader ’33

Staley dodged an attempt to score at 51 yards or a hit on the ball in the 7-7 game. He called for Herbert to make the first shot, and the quarterback made the 2-yard run. Five innings later, the Chargers took the lead after a 4-yard TD pass from Herbert to wide receiver Jalen Guyton.

Second quarter: Fourth goal and goal from captain ‘1

This call might be the weirdest. Staley chose not to play in the final game of the first half when the chances of entering the dressing room were seven. Instead, Herbert threw the incomplete to wide receiver Keenan Allen. LA took the lead with a score of 14-10.

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This time, LA overcame an attempt to score at 46 yards with a 14-13 lead. Again, there was a failed pass where Herbert and Jared Cook were unable to connect.

“The first man was a perfect pass and you have this really tragic thing happening on the way down (Parham’s injury). The man at the end of the half, I liked that. And then we missed Jared. on the stick,” Staley said in three misses.

Head coach Andy Reid decided to imitate Staley in his next drive. He won it in 4th and 1st place from Chargers ‘2 trying to take the lead. Mahomes hit a pass towards the wide open Mecole Hardman on the left flank and the game remained 14-13.

(Micah Adams / SN)

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Staley continued on his next drive. This time, the Chargers hit it as Joshua Kelley ran from 4 to captain 7. But three innings later, Kelley fumbled at point 1 and the captain recovered. At the time, Staley had only seven points to show for his fierceness.

But he is confident that he has the edge every time.

“That’s life in the NFL and decision-making like that. And I think from where my thinking came I knew that the fastest way to win a game like that is to score a touchdown, not a touchdown goal. have to score goals, especially seeing who else is next to it,” he said. “And, to me, when you feel like you’re in a win-win situation, when you don’t feel like it’s a gamble, when you feel this is an advantage for you, then that’s thinking. And I don’t think that any decision that we make tonight, that I make tonight, is a gamble. We feel it’s a win-win situation for us and that’s it. why we did it If we didn’t feel like it, we kicked a goal on the pitch, or we beat.

“That’s how we’re going to do things around here. I know that our team accepts that mindset and we’ll continue to do it in every game we play in the future.”

And Staley didn’t try to hide a bad kicker on Thursday night. Hopkins entered the game 12/1 in an attempt to score for Los Angeles with a length of 48 points.

After all those missed opportunities, keeping the game at 14-13, the teams combined for four touchdowns and 29 points in the fourth half. The captain was forced into overtime with 1:16 to deliver Mahomes-to-Travis Kelce’s touchdown pass from 7 yards and Harrison Butker’s PAT kick. Mahomes and Kelce connected again on OT’s only track to win the 34-yard catch-and-run game.

That made it easier for Staley to answer questions about multiple reductions in scores. He is clear in defending his pick.

“I like the way we’ve managed this game and it’s not going downhill for us today, but we’ve built ourselves a supporter,” he said. “We didn’t end the game defensively and they were a difficult group to end the game with defence. But we gave ourselves a chance there late in the game against Justin and we didn’t. finish it.”

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