Gerald Everett tried to tap out before Jaylen Watson’s pick six

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
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An interesting, and confusing, moment played out last night, in the fourth quarter of the Chargers’ loss to the Chiefs.

With the game tied at 17 and the Chargers inside the Kansas City five, a pick-six from rookie cornerback Jaylen Watson triggered a 14-point swing, giving the Chiefs a 24-17 lead.

Making the interception easier for Watson to secure was the fact that tight end Gerald Everett didn’t break back to the ball. He didn’t because he couldn’t. He couldn’t because he was exhausted.

Everett tried to tap out before the play, after making two straight catches. The second entailed a 23-yard rumble that left him trying to get a replacement to enter the game. It didn’t happen, because the Chargers remained in hurry-up mode. Quarterback Justin Herbert lined up the offense, snapping the ball with 26 seconds on the play clock.

The obvious goal was to take advantage of a tired defense that couldn’t make replacements. The problem is that Everett was tired, too.

“It was just of unlucky what happened,” coach Brandon Staley told the team after the game, when asked about the situation. “It was unfortunate. We felt like we could push the pace and, you know, it didn’t work out.”

Staley was asked about the play itself, given that the ball was thrown behind Everett, who didn’t make a move back to get it.

“Just, you know, when it was matched to the flat, you know, the tight end has the option to come back in,” Staley said. “And so I think Justin was expecting him to come back in on that. But, you know, it’s just one of those unlucky things that happen, and obviously we’ll learn a lot from it.”

One thing to learn is this: Don’t stubbornly stick with a no-huddle offense when your own guys are gassed.

The Chargers players rushed to the line. Everett clearly needed to come out. He had his hands on his knees before the snap.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. The coaching staff needed to realize that Everett needed a break. The coaching staff shouldn’t have called a play that made Everett one of the first reads. Herbert arguably should have realized that Everett, who had caught two straight passes, may have been tired. And Everett could have been a little more demonstrative in his effort to get someone’s attention.

If all else fails, go to the ground. Is it faking an injury if a guy simply can’t keep going? Everett was on empty. With more than enough time on the clock and the game in a precarious situation, someone should have done something to ensure that the worst-case scenario wouldn’t happen — a game-changing play that made it much harder to the Chargers to steal a win.

10 responses to “Gerald Everett tried to tap out before Jaylen Watson’s pick six

  1. If he would have taken a flop,it would make him the one stopping the hurry up offense. That would not go over well with coaching and put him on the s–t list. Not a viable option to me.

  2. Yeah, the announcer even pointed it out before the play. It was a very bad look. Not sure why Herbert threw it to him anyway.

  3. You’re ignoring the two biggest problems with that play. One is that conditioning of players is important. Offenses run hurry up because they know they can wear down the defense over time and with the more plays they run. Especially the big bodied pass rushers who have to be going all out each play while the OL wait for them to come. Like the Patriots falcons SB. The expectation for your players is that you have them conditioned well enough that they won’t just randomly die of exhaustion mid drive, especially your receivers, and that’s the biggest failure by the coaching staff is that they let his conditioning get that bad that he can’t handle making two catches. The second failure was the reason it’s being called low effort. It’s not the catch attempt because he’s tired, it’s that he literally just stands still after the interception, then walks away from the play to pick something up off the ground. You can be dead tired and even if there’s no chance you catch him you at least run your best towards the play or at least look at it instead of standing still and walking away mid play.

  4. Players send the “swap me out” signals all the time. You rarely see them on TV, but they happen.

  5. After the pick Everett wasn’t looking at, or trying to tackle Watson. He was looking around for his mouthpiece.

  6. the coaches made the mistake of targeting the same guy the third straight play even though he was gassed. he also got landed on while taking the ball those extra yards after catch down to the 5, so he had a right to be gasping. and while the non-chase looked bad, in reality any chase by him was futile.

  7. This was a couple of mistakes by Herbert. He’s young, he is still learning. Mistake #1 not recognizing that his WR was gassed and call the TO. Mistake #2 was throwing the ball to the guy that was gassed. It cost them the game but hopefully he will learn from it.

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