The Los Angeles Chargers lost another one-score game, this one at the hands of the Green Bay Packers 23-20. The Chargers are now 4-6 on the year, and the season is in a tailspin.
Overall, it was another poor performance from this Chargers team. They lost Joey Bosa for the game (and maybe longer) on the first defensive possession, but the Packers lost Aaron Jones and Emanuel Wilson and were down to one total running back (AJ Dillon).
The Chargers defense did some things well, but this Packers offense hadn’t scored more than 20 points in seven straight games, today they scored 23. Jordan Love had never thrown for 300 yards passing in his career. Today he threw for 322. The defense continues to struggle in 3rd and long situations, and it really came back to haunt them on a 3rd and 20 at the end of the 4th quarter. A defensive pass interference gave the Packers a free first down. They went on to score a few plays later and took a 23-20 lead that they would not relinquish.
The offense had plenty of miscues as well. Drops. Drops. And more drops. Two drops by Keenan Allen that would have been touchdowns. Another critical drop by Quentin Johnston, which would have put the Chargers in field goal range on the final drive for an attempt to tie the game. Austin Ekeler fumbled the ball on the 5-yard line, taking would-be points off the board for the Chargers.
Something is systematically broken.
Head Coach Brandon Staley was adamant in his press conference after the game, and the most frustrated that I have seen him.
“I have full confidence in our way of playing. Full confidence in myself as the play-caller, the way that we teach, and the way that we scheme. Full confidence in that. We gotta bring this group together, and do it consistently. And that’s where it’s at. You can stop asking that question. I’m going to be calling the defenses. So we’re clear. So you don’t have to ask that again.”
Brandon Staley on confidence in calling defensive plays pic.twitter.com/TgBVwk3pX9— Chargers LAFB (@Chargers_LAFB) November 19, 2023
This is going to be a signature moment for Brandon Staley and this coaching staff. Either the confidence pays off and this team goes on a run, or it shatters the locker room.
Should We Be Confident In Brandon Staley
Based on what we have all seen transpire on the field, it is hard to have much confidence that this unit can do even the little things right. Blame whoever you want, but I do agree with Staley’s sentiment that this was a total team loss. But that should not be the case in year three with this much talent. Do Chargers players have confidence in their coach?
That is the real question that we need to be asking.
A head coach can have all the confidence in the world in himself, his staff, and his players, but if the players don’t believe what he is saying, teaching, and scheming, well, then you get results like today.
Were there loads of execution errors? 1000%. And that is solely on the players. You can’t blame the coach for dropping passes, for fumbling the football (unless it is a chronic issue with a player), or for being too handsy in coverage. The players deserve plenty of criticism for not getting this aspect of the game done.
But culture, belief, trust, and preparation, that is on the head coach and his staff. It’s really tough to remain confident in that aspect of this team. Winning breeds confidence, and this team just hasn’t done enough of that.