Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was already on the proverbial coaching hot seat heading into Thursday night’s AFC West game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
But now it’s raging out of control after some unexpected fireworks from the Raiders, who were held scoreless only four days earlier.
And whatever hope remained that Staley might salvage his job is now completely gone.
The Raiders, who lost to the Minnesota Vikings 3-0 on Sunday, torched the Chargers for three straight touchdowns to take a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.
But they weren’t done. There was more of the same in the second quarter as the lead ballooned to 42-0 by halftime, with the Chargers wearing a look of utter defeat over what was transpiring during one of the most embarrassing first-half performances in recent memory.
The Chargers’ 42-0 halftime deficit is the largest in franchise history and the second-largest in NFL history. And it was the largest halftime lead ever for the Raiders, who fell four points short of matching their point total for the past four games combined.
Brandon Staley Skewered On Social Media
The only question for fans posting on social media was whether Brandon Staley would survive halftime.
Brandon Staley’s Los Angeles Chargers Team Doomed From The Start
The Raiders drove down the field 68 yards on 12 plays for their first touchdown, a 1-yard run by Zamir White, the Raiders’ first touchdown since the second quarter of Week 12.
But then the Chargers completely imploded, fumbling on their next two drives to set the Raiders up with a short field. And the Raiders proceeded to score easily a pair of TD passes from Aidan O’Connell to Tre Tucker and Jakobi Meyers, respectively, to take an unfathomable 21-0 lead.
The Chargers (5-8) came into the game with Easton Stick making his first NFL start after Justin Herbert was lost for the season with a fractured right index finger. The hope was that they could set Stick up for success early, but instead, they left with a nearly impossible deficit to overcome.
No Saving Brandon Staley Now
As for Brandon Staley, who’s been under fire all season for his questionable decision-making — especially late in games — and a porous defense, this is likely the last straw.
He was hired three years ago as a defensive specialist, having worked under Sean McVay as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator. The Chargers showed some promise last season, finishing with a 10-7 record and their first playoff berth in four years.
Yet the Chargers have regressed this season, losing four out of their past five games with a defense ranked 29th overall. Once Thursday’s game comes to a merciful end, the defense might be ranked a few notches closer to the bottom. And Staley might be out of a job.