With retired coach Sean Payton tied to the Los Angeles Chargers, Brandon Staley briefly escaped the hot seat after a gutsy decision that led to a win in Week 12.
The Los Angeles Chargers were coming off a second heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Turns out, leaving less than two minutes on the clock was too much for Patrick Mahomes. With this loss, the Chargers find themselves at 5-5 on the year. As is the case when a team with high expectations loses, the blame is placed on the head coach. In this case, it was Brandon Staley.
Sean Payton, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, retired this year. Still, he could come back for the right opening. According to an ESPN report by Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano (subscription required), the Chargers and Arizona Cardinals are two positions Payton has his eye on should he ever make a return as a coach. The importance of these teams is that the quarterback positions are settled. The Chargers have Justin Herbert, enough said.
But Brandon Staley helped cool things down in Week 12, after the Chargers snatched a 25-24 win on the tightest deadline. They did it with a brave Payton-esque game decision.
Brandon Staley calls on Sean Payton to get the Chargers the win.
Los Angeles picked up the ball at Arizona’s 38-yard line with less than two minutes remaining, trailing 24-17. Herbert completed four consecutive passes for 37 yards. Facing a third-and-seven, Herbert tagged runner Austin Ekeler for a 10-yard gain, putting them on Arizona’s one-yard line.
On first-and-goal, Herbert connected with Ekeler once again for a one-yard touchdown pass, bringing them within a game-tying point. Instead of playing overtime, Staley opted to go seek victory on a two-point conversion. Herbert touched receiver Gerald Everett for the two runs, giving the Chargers a 25-24 lead with just 15 seconds left.
The Chargers hung on after Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray threw two incomplete passes.
On the day, Herbert completed 35 of 47 pass attempts for 274 yards and three touchdowns.
It was a win Staley needed, and going into overtime was not an option for him. He went for the win, and it became a reality. His job is secure, for now at least.
Next : Even the Carolina Panthers mocked Russell Wilson