Anthony Lynn on overtime punt: I gave us a chance to extend the game

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Chargers coach Anthony Lynn made the surprising decision to put the ball in Patrick Mahomes‘ hands in overtime on Sunday. It didn’t work out.

With the Chargers facing fourth-and-1 in overtime, Lynn chose to punt. Mahomes drove the Chiefs into field goal range and Kansas City’s Harrison Butker booted the game winner. Lynn explained his thought process after the game.

I considered going for it,” Lynn said, via the Los Angeles Times. “It was a little bit more than one. We need to get a stop on defense. . . . I went for it a couple other times in the game. But, at that point in time, I thought I’d give us a chance to extend the game. It didn’t work out.”

It’s easy to see why Lynn thought there was a risk of going for it: The Chargers were on their own 34-yard line, which means if they had been stopped there, the Chiefs already would have been in field goal range without needing to gain a single yard to kick the game-winner.

But while Lynn’s call might have been the right call against a league-average opponent, that’s not who the Chargers were facing. They were facing Mahomes, the best quarterback in the NFL, needing only to get into range for Butker, one of the league’s best kickers. Lynn’s best bet was to trust his offense to score a game-winning touchdown without Mahomes ever getting on the field. Instead, Lynn punted the ball to Mahomes, and paid for it.

10 responses to “Anthony Lynn on overtime punt: I gave us a chance to extend the game

  1. If he went for it and didn’t get it more people would say it was dumb to give the ball up in field goal range. Lynn made the reasonable choice. For anyone to say otherwise benefits from hindsight.

  2. Going for it would have been an absolutely horrible decision. Not converting would have put KC in field goal position without having to gain a yard. You have to trust your defense in that situation, regardless of who you are playing.

  3. They were on their own 34 so they’d have given the Chiefs the ball already in FG range had they failed to convert. If the argument is they should have went for it from there, just how much further back would they have needed to of been before punting WAS considered the smart play?

  4. If you get the ball in overtime and want to win, you don’t give the other team the ball.

    He chose to surrender the ball and by extension the game to the Chiefs because he was scared or couldn’t take a yard. He deserves to lose.

    Remember when the Chiefs had 4th and 1 in overtime? So they immediately went and took that yard like a team that wants to win?

  5. The only reason they could go for it was if they were conceding the season, and a 1-0 team doesn’t/shouldn’t do that. If it was mid-season and they were 2-6, sure, what do you have to lose?

    It was the right call, it was just Mahomes showed up big after the 3 quarter, and Butker was clutch. That said, the chargers did well on defense to hold KC to only 2 TD’s. That defense is tough.

  6. That Charger defense was short-circuiting one of the best offenses all game long. Constantly harrassing Mahomes and shutting down the running game as well.

    Lynn gambled on a strength his team possessed. It was better than a coin-flip guess. He also knew he had the zebras helping him with bogus calls against the Chiefs all game long, so he took his longshot.

    No shame.

  7. It’s definitely one of those you get praise if you make it, and scrutinized if you don’t decisions. With how well Mahomes was moving it though in the 4th quarter, I feel like they should’ve gone for it. The defense was clearly gassed and wasn’t getting stops.

  8. Sometimes if you are the coach you need to think about what the other team doesn’t want you to do. The Chiefs defense was gassed after a 10+ minute Chargers drive in the 4th quarter. As a Chiefs fan I was glad they didn’t go for it.

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