Heart palpitations have a habit of speeding up when it comes to Bolts fans watching the Los Angeles Chargers in the HC Brandon Staley era.
Once again, the Chargers averted a heartbreaker in their 24-17 win over the Las Vegas Raiders Sunday following a questionable Staley call at SoFi Stadium.
The Call Brandon Staley Made That Led to Renewed Weekly Criticism
On fourth down with one yard to go and backed up near their own 35-yard line, Staley opted to roll the dice and go for it, while many analysts and fans would’ve preferred the Chargers to punt.
This defensive stop by the Silver and Black led to hearts stopping among Chargers fans.
The @Raiders defense comes up huge on 4th down!
— NFL (@NFL) October 1, 2023
Sure enough, fans and analysts posted their harsh, weekly critiques of Staley. PFN’s Trey Wingo gave a blunt take on Staley’s decision.
Brandon Staley is now actively TRYING to be fired
— trey wingo (@wingoz) October 1, 2023
“OMG, Chargers’ Brandon Staley pulls a Brandon Staley, crazy it happens every week,” Dov Kleiman of Bro Bible posted on X.
FanDuel Sports Book saw the play as a threat to Staley’s job security.
Brandon Staley if the Chargers lose this game: pic.twitter.com/8dCZhI9vFT
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) October 1, 2023
Former NFL-offensive-lineman-turned-radio-personality Geoff Schwartz couldn’t help but laugh at Staley’s choice to go for it during that scenario.
“Hahaha the Chargers got stuffed on 4th-1 in their own territory two weeks in a row trying to close out a game,” Schwartz shared on X.
Worse, Staley was criticized for not challenging the spot of the ball after that stop.
The Chargers and their fans, though, managed to get their heart rate back thanks to an even more costly miscue in Inglewood.
Staley ‘Got Bailed Out’
Los Angeles CB Asante Samuel Jr., with his defense backed up near the end zone, knocked the air out of the Raider Nation fans in SoFi and saved Staley and L.A. with less than 2:40 in the game.
Asante. Samuel. Junior.
— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) October 1, 2023
He snatched the lone interception of the game and the third turnover of the contest. This pick put the cap on a dominating defensive display, which also saw LB Khalil Mack tally six sacks and saw the Chargers’ defense hold Las Vegas’s ground game to 3.3 yards per carry.
Gilberto Manzano of Sports Illustrated made it clear what the young cornerback really did, though.
“Wow, Brandon Staley just got bailed out by Asante Samuel Jr. Should have challenged the fourth down conversion. Chaos,” Manzano said.
— Gilberto Manzano (@GManzano24) October 1, 2023
Even Rich Eisen of the NFL Network had the belief that Staley has luck on his side in the form of football gods.
“The Football Gods will always present Brandon Staley with a fourth down that creates all sorts of Crazy Town possibilities. And he will always take the cheese,” Eisen said while adding in a subsequent post, “And the defense comes to the rescue again.”
Ricardo Sandoval of SI’s Charger Report was even more verbose with his take on Staley’s questionable play-calling that continues to play with the heartstrings of his fan base.
“While the Chargers secured the win, Staley’s questionable decisions once again put unnecessary pressure on the defense,” Sandoval wrote. “He’s been pushing the envelope with these risky moves, and it’s only a matter of time before it backfires. If Staley continues down this path, changes might be in order, as he can’t keep tempting fate like this.”