“Chiefs Win–Chargers Coach Loses”
Blame this loss on the coach.
Blame this loss on a very young secondary.
Blame this loss on the brilliance of a quarterback.
It was everything we thought it could be, a battle between the hired gun passing stars, Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes. it was the big play dueling wide receivers, Tyreek Hill-Keenan Allen. it was the old school tight end Travis Kelce too.
It was a Kansas City win, a Chargers loss, and the likely end of the AFC-West playoff race, this (34-28) overtime thriller, with all the screaming fans at So Fi.
But this loss is on Coach Brandon Staley and his brazeness to keep going for it on fourth down, for leaving 16-points on the field, bypassing field goals to try and get 1st downs on fourth down plays.
The Chargers fumbled at the one going in for a score.
They failed to convert on 4th downs at the 3-5-and-28 yard lines.
They left a very young defense on the field alot in the 4th quarter, a group of kids who can run, but were last seen chasing Hill and Kelce all over the field after passes were completed.
When the two teams staggered to the locker-room at the end of the game, KC had put up (496Y) in offense, the Chargers (428),…touching the mark I predicted in yesterday’s column of over 900-yards.
Mahomes finished with (410Y) passing an interception, 4-hits and 7-pressures. Herbert threw for (235-2TD) but was aided by the breakout game of running back Justin Jackson’s (86R). A lost cause day despite running for (192Y) against a worn out Chiefs defense.
But going against the grain, these 4th down calls, is good only if they work, and they have not worked as well in the last 8-weeks of the season. And in the most important game they have played this year, the failures are magnified.
The Chargers had 8-snaps inside the 5-yard line early in the game, no points. Josh Kelly, who coughed balls up last year and got benched, got it punched out trying to go airborne at the 2-yard line, wiping out another drive.
The Chargers also dropped 4-passes and had a Keenan Allen end around throw fall short, negating another possible TD.
You give Mahomes opportunity after opportunity, and with time on the clock, and he makes you pay for it. Kelce caught two TD passes late, to tie it, and win it, beating young DBs both times.
The oldest guy in the secondary group, Chris Harris, gave up 4-passes but had 2-pressures and a pick.
Tevaughn Campbell took another beating, giving up 5-passes and a TD, plus taking a pass interference flag
Michael Davis gave up the game winning score and 3-other completions plus a flag.
When Mahomes was done, he had 15-plays of Plus 10-yards,including throws of 34-40-69, all in the second half
Herbert’s offense could not keep up with the chunk plays, recording just 11-of plus 10-yards.
A gut wrenching loss, triggered by a rookie head coach who bet the house on 4th down calls, and lost the chance to finish in lst place in his division and home field advantage.
A smart guy head coach for sure, but too smart for his own good. When you have the chance to get points against an Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes led team, you better go get those sure points, even if they are 3-point field goals.
A great game for the fans in the stands and the fans watching on TV but a greater setback for the Chargers..
Hate to say lost opporunity, but it was almost like watching the Bolts committ suicide on the field, by all the coaching mistakes and the blown coverages.
This one is on Brandon Staley, and you don’t need to go look at the video to ‘unwrap’ (his favorite word) why the Chargers lost.