Los Angeles Chargers Prove To Be Laughingstock Of NFL In Blowout Loss To Raiders

Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It was 25 years ago that the Los Angeles Chargers played a bit further south. Fans in that not-to-be-named city had to deal with an owner in Alex Spanos who was leading an absolute laughingstock of an organization.

Those of you who are a bit longer in the tooth (raises hand) understand full well where this story is going. The Chargers traded up from the No. 3 pick with the Arizona Cardinals for the second selection in the 1998 NFL Draft. Spanos and Co. ultimately selected all-time draft bust Ryan Leaf with that pick. The end result was the continuation of a seven-year span that saw the Chargers win 35 games while going through four different head coaches.

Even this didn’t compare to what we saw from the 2023 iteration of the Chargers Thursday night against the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders. While the cities have changed since the height of their bitter on-field war, the hatred is still there.

Taking to Allegiant Stadium to open Week 15, the Chargers were an absolute embarrassment. That included falling down 21-0 in the first quarter to a team that was shutout in a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the same venue mere days earlier. A two-possession span in this first quarter saw the Chargers lose consecutive fumbles, both leading to Raiders touchdowns.

Sure, the Chargers don’t have franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. Star pass rusher Joey Bosa is currently on injured reserve. But that doesn’t excuse the mistakes, lack of execution, and unbridled embarrassment the Chargers were on Thursday.

They allowed 42 points in the first half to the Raiders. Las Vegas tallied 283 total yards in the first 30 minutes with rookie mid-round pick Aidan O’Connell under center. When we said embarrassing, we meant it. This isn’t hyperbole.

Yes, that’s the juggernaut better known as Brandon Bolden burning Brandon Staley’s defense for 26 yards. The 12th-year veteran had not attempted a single run on the season before Thursday night. He was forced into action with 2022 NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs sidelined. Yes, the Raiders were without their second-best offensive player. No, it did not matter against a Chargers defense that was easier to score on Thursday night than employees inside an adult establishment in rural Nevada.

The end result was one of the most humiliating nights in Los Angeles Chargers franchise history. Vegas came out on top by a score of 63-21. It outgained Los Angeles by a margin of 378-322 (LA gained their yards and points all in the 4th quarter). The turnover differential was plus-5 in the Raiders’ favor.

Will Brandon Staley Even Be On The Los Angeles Chargers Flight Home?

los angeles chargers' laughingstock
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The clear answer here should be no. Staley has more than nine lives. He’s seemingly Bruce Willis’ character in “Unbreakable.” We can thank Dean Spanos for this. It’s among the plethora of things that Chargers fans should be thankful for when it comes to Spanos this holiday season (insert sarcasm emoji).

But at some point, even Spanos has to realize Staley is a dead man walking on the sideline. His team is not playing for him. They are playing for themselves. They are not playing for the organization or the brand. They are not playing for the fans.

The contrast was real Thursday night. Also pretty much playing out the string under an interim head coach, the Raiders were all over the field Thursday night. They were playing for something. They were scrambling to the ball. They represented Raiders fans in Las Vegas — Los Angeles and Oakland, too — well.

On the other sideline sat a head coach in Staley who had absolutely no business taking the trip to Southern Nevada in the first place. The same thing can be said about half of this Chargers roster. Just look at the reactions from those watching the disaster class of an effort from home.

For the most part, this was national media chiming in. We’re not talking about Los Angeles Chargers fans. We’re talking about unbiased observers looking on from afar.

The Los Angeles Chargers Can’t Possibly Regroup

los angeles chargers nfl laughingstock
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Prior to Thursday night, the largest halftime deficit this Chargers organization faced at halftime was 37-0 against the Buffalo Bills back in 1962. This was their third year of existence.

Chargers players booked their vacations on a secluded island far away from Staley. The “head coach” is already submitting his resume for potential defensive coordinator openings. Meanwhile, Spanos is looking for someone to blame for this absolute dumpster fire of a performance. This absolute dumpster fire of a season.

Los Angeles still has to “compete” in three more games this season. It starts against the Buffalo Bills at home on Dec. 23 before a road date against Denver the following week and a season finale against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 7.

There is not a single player within the Chargers’ locker room who can possibly believe Staley should lead them into those meaningless outings. At this point, Staley has to be hoping he gets that pink slip and acquires a vacation for the remainder of the holiday season.

The Chargers can’t regroup after this disaster class. It’s now time for everyone to simply move on to the offseason and realize dramatic changes are needed, because, this organization turned into the laughingstock of the NFL Thursday night.

Unfortunately, part of said change won’t include Dean Spanos being given the boot with Brandon Staley. How nice that type of “job” security must be.