Chargers head coach Brandon Staley called a strange timeout late in overtime on Sunday night, shortly before the Raiders kicked a field goal that knocked his team out of the playoffs. After the game, he said it was all about making a personnel substitution.
“We needed to get in the right grouping,” Staley said. “We felt like they were going to run the ball, so we wanted to get our best 11 personnel run defense in, make that substitution so we could get a play where we would deepen the field goal.”
But what the timeout actually did was cause the Raiders to play for the win, when they appeared ready to play for a tie. And a tie would have put both the Raiders and the Chargers into the playoffs. After the timeout, the Raiders gained another 10 yards before kicking the game-winning 47-yard field goal.
Staley said he does not believe the timeout made the Raiders more aggressive about playing to win.
“I don’t think it changed their mindset,” Staley said.
Staley now has an offseason to think about it, while the Raiders’ season continues.