Skip to main content

The Chargers Bolted Themselves Out of the Playoffs By Calling Time Out

Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley is in some hot water.

The San Diego Chargers have long been a...wait. Oh yeah.

The Los Angeles Chargers have long been a franchise known for their ability to either snatch defeat from the jaws of victory or simply lose in any heartbreaking fashion. Exhibit A comes from November of 2020.

If the Chargers heartbreakingly losing to the Las Vegas Raiders feels familiar, perhaps it's because you saw it less than 24 hours ago.

NFL is rather strict with its copyright but click the link and head on to youtube. The Raiders beating the Chargers with a last-second field goal is not particularly shocking for late-season NFL matchups. It's heartbreaking to be sure, but what makes this loss unique was what happened just seconds before it.

Ill-Advised Timeout?

Let's back up and setup the scenario and background so that the stakes are understood. Had this game ended in a tie, both teams were guaranteed a spot on the playoffs. The Raiders risked throwing the ball away or a fumble, had they continued to run their offense. It was in their best interest to go for the tie. The Chargers on the other hand were at their best just letting the Raiders call a play as quickly as possible, or simply letting the play clock expire without the time to regroup and run a proper play.

Then, Chargers coach Brandon Staley inexplicably called time out. above. Cris Collinsworth and Al Michael's reactions say it all.

Michaels: "Hmmm...hm hm hm hm hm..."

Collinsworth: "What!?"

After this timeout, the Raiders were able to regroup and eventually kick a game-winning field goal. When the game was over, the questions were being asked and further observations were made. It was insinuated that the Raiders were about to take a knee before the Chargers called timeout. 

Raiders QB Derek Carr was asked by NBC’s Michelle Tafoya if that time out changed things and Carr was blunt. 

“It definitely did, obviously.”

This Is How You Remind Me

Many on social media pointed out that this was possibly the worst timeout call since Chris Webber called time out in the 1993 NCAA Men's National Championship. With 11 seconds left in the game and University of Michigan down by 2 points, Chris Webber called timeout. The problem was, the Wolverines had no timeouts left. This resulted in a technical foul that put North Carolina at the foul line. The rest is history. 

There was also the time in 2019 where the Pelicans were up by three points against the Phoenix Suns. First, they should have just fouled the shooter to put him at the line. They can only get two points anyway. They didn't, and the Suns tied the game. The Pelicans then tried to call a timeout they did not have, resulting in a technical, and the game was lost.

Chargers Coach Job

With the epic meltdown from the Chargers, is coach Brandon Staley in the hot seat? The Chargers went 9-8 for the season and Chargers young quarterback Justin Herbert showed with a firey late game comeback that he is the quarterback of their future. Coach Staley led the team to a good season, but making one big mistake that costs your team a playoff berth is enough to put you under the microscope.