Will epic playoff collapse open door for a Chargers coaching change?

New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Chargers
Getty Images

During the pregame show prior to tonight’s Chargers-Jaguars playoff game, I said that folks around the league were very curious as to whether the Chargers or Cowboys will make a coaching change if they lose in the wild-card round or, more importantly, how they lose.

The Chargers have lost in epic fashion, blowing a 27-0 lead and losing 31-30.

That will put the entire sports media on watch for the possibility of Chargers coach Brandon Staley being relieved of his duties after two seasons, especially with an A-lister like Sean Payton looking for a new home.

Payton and Justin Herbert? Are you kidding me? The Chargers would take over L.A., and they would never look back, at least not while Payton and Herbert were together.

Here’s the question. Will ownership move on from Staley, and will they cough up the cash necessary to bring Payton to town?

If the Chargers won’t, maybe the Broncos will. And that may be all the more reason to do it.

120 responses to “Will epic playoff collapse open door for a Chargers coaching change?

  1. One of the greatest chokes in playoff history.
    Can we now stop calling Justin Herbert an elite QB?
    Guy has won nothing ever while surrounded with top tier talent.

  2. I just said this. Staley is a cretin of unbeleivable non abilities to think. If the GM and Owner dont fire him then the Chargers are in trouble going forward.

  3. Of course they will. Between playing his starters in a meaningless game and blowing a 27 point lead, what would make ownership think this guy has what it takes to win a Super Bowl?

  4. Chargers eating a coaching contract and paying more for another coach? It would seem out of character.

    I highly doubt that duo would take over LA but the Payton hype train is out of control right now.

  5. Staley is gone. Take Joe Lombardi with you. Justin Herbert has regressed ever since this bum showed up.

  6. Nobody has done less with more than Staley in recent years. The guy will always find a way to lose.

  7. More impressive than Bills comeback over the Oilers. Sean Payton will be interviewing before Brandon Staley is back in LA. Oddly Staley played too conservative. Doug Pederson called a strange game but pulled it out so who cares now.

  8. The coach is clearly not ready for the moment. His decision making is holding the team back. Sean Payton is worth every cent and draft pick.

  9. Staley is awful. Oh, he’s a gambler. He goes for it on 4th downs. No. He has been wasting way too much talent and doesn’t do enough to keep his players healthy. Bye.

  10. If the chargers organization were smart they’d fire him as soon as they get home, but the right thing for them to do is buy him a commercial flight home !!!

  11. Herbert and that offense deserve a better coach.
    What happened tonight was disastrous

  12. Peyton and Herbert doesn’t automatically make them anything. Peyton is overrated, he won 1 Super Bowl with Drew Brees who is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Peyton and Herbert will play second fiddle to Reid and Mahomes for over a decade.

  13. Yes. A HC that calls the defense and loses after a 27-0 lead needs to got.

  14. The Jaguars have turned a corner as a franchise. Coach Peterson played to win, and that says everything.

  15. If the fire Staley then they should cut or trade Bosa. His bonehead penalty was the back breaker. What a stupid and selfish move throwing his helmet.

  16. Staley makes some of the most head scratching decisions I’ve ever seen. Time for the Chargers to move on.

  17. Spanos will never pay to get rid of Staley, never mind ponying up for the likes of Payton. For pure entertainment value for the fans of the other 31 NFL team, I sure hope Staley sticks around for at least another year.

  18. Normally I’d say yes. But the Spanos family is cheap and too stubborn to cave just to prove a point. Staley stays.

  19. From Kansas City, I think Brandon Staley is doing a bang-up job and the Chargers should stay the course.

  20. San Diego chiming in. Part of me is like I hate that franchise and hope they fail. Then I root for them out of nostalgia and they break my heart, just like they always have

  21. All the talk of Sean Payton wanting to be the first coach to lead two teams to Super Bowl victories – Doug Pederson might steal that chance. That guy can coach.

  22. For Sean would think Spanos would give up the 1st rounder and most importantly the cash. Staley just is not an NFL head coach even his defenses are not that great.

  23. If it were any other team, Staley would most likely be gone.
    Because it’s the Chargers and Spanos money, he won’t be.

  24. Staley looked to me like he knows he’s toast…. inexcusable to lose that game in that situation. Hard to come back from that, especially when a coach with Sean Payton’s pedigree is waiting in the wings….

  25. Short answer: yes. Staley needs to go. As a Browns fan, I just watched how the Browns lose games tonight.

  26. B Staley needs go now. This team is loaded with talent and it’s clear him and his staff are holding them back..Chargers fans deserve better after all these years

  27. What is with all the hype with Sean Payton? This is the 6th or 7th team he’s been theorized by reporters in the past week. The guy might as well command $100 million in that case.

  28. Yes, Staley will get fired. Blows a 27-0 lead and the prior week gets Mike Williams hurt playing in a meaningless game.

  29. Spanos family fired marty schottenheimer after going 14 and 2 following their 1st round playoff loss. They won’t hesitate to fire Staley. He’s gone.

  30. This what happens when teams hire egg heads instead people who know football – Staley’s stuff is boxed up – Bosa’s too.

  31. Herbert is pretty great now. Imagine what he could do with Sean Payton calling the shots. I would love to see that next season. If Staley gets fired,they should try to beat Denver to the punch.

  32. Staley screwed the pooch by allowing Mike Williams to play and get injured last week. He was the red zone tool the Chargers needed in the clutch. Bye bye Brandon.

  33. My best guess is they fire Joe Lombardi and make him the fall guy. They won’t do jack squat besides that and Staley is safe. They’ll Charger this up too.

  34. Saints are just licking their chops as the prospect of draft picks haul from whatever team Payton eventually ends up with.

  35. So Herbert has now lost a “play-in” game and playoff game with a true historical collapse is he on “Can’t win in the playoffs” couch the way Dak Prescott and Lamar were after 2 losses?

  36. Does Spanos have the money to pay Payton? Herbert is more appealing than Wilson for certain, but Denver is already light on picks and will have to send more to the Saints for the privilege of hiring Payton, so the only Denver advantage I can see is all that Walmart money.

  37. Payton is in line to become the next Gruden. Not as dramatic, but seriously, how over hyped is this guy? He won a Superbowl, which was in the middle of the bounty scandal. Chargers should fire Staley,but Payton is nothing but a media darling.

  38. 800 mill wasted in firing coaches the NFL revealed.

    Give Staley another shot. Go against grain, most obvious decision to fire him. Not his fault Herbert and offense stalled in second half.

    He has made mistakes, but each season has been improvement.

  39. It’s not the cash to Sean Payton, it’s the draft picks to the Saints. Sean wants to coach again and the Saints hold all the marbles. Start off with the Gruden trade, work up from there.

  40. The Chargers seem to have everything Payton is looking for. West coast team, check. Above average qb, check. Strong roster, check. Salary in excess of $20M/yr, ?

  41. Doug Pederson could get Erkel and 10 friends ready to play anyone. While the fawning national media fell in love with McVay, all Coach P did was beat McVay IN Los Angeles in route to the best in NFC record and home field advantage. The he beat McVay AGAIN in 2018. Not to mention he stood toe to toe against Belichick in the Super Bowl and won. Now in one year he turns around an entire franchise. Give this man his due.

  42. The Chargers had good luck in drafting Herbert. The Chargers have a history of finding ways to lose. They could hire Vince Lombardi this will never change. The curse of San Diego.

  43. Dean Spanos is cheap, will never pay top dollar, he only cares about money not wins. Sadly Charges will never win a championship, he is the worst owner in the NFL.and does not care about fans either. Dean is happy renting in LA and reading how the team keeps finding ways to loose, he will never get it!

  44. Payton won one superbowl with the great Drew Brees at the very beginning of their tenure. He ain’t all that.

  45. Leading 27-0. Third and inches. DON’T GET CUTE.
    Decision to run a jet sweep led to a fumble that led to a punt that led to a quick Jags TD before the half. That play call changed the game.

  46. If offered, that’s the job Sean Payton takes of course, Herbert is there, need anyone say anything else? And is there anyone that thinks Staley will survive this? Because I sure don’t.

  47. I’m not a Charger or Jaguar fan but the officiating is the story of this game. One didn’t even have to see the game, just by listening to Tony Dungy you could tell by what he said and how he said it that the Refs controlled this game. Not the players or coaches. It’s like they were either blind, drunk or on the take. Worst I’ve seen in years.

  48. Payton isn’t going to Denver, he’d have to rely on the GM who brought in Russ to now draft a franchise QB. LA was always the ideal spot for Payton. Solid team, solid quarterback, middling coaching for all the talent on that roster. With Payton and Harbaugh taking interviews, if the Chargers don’t change HCs now then they must really believe in Staley.

  49. Completely rigged game. Officials determine the outcome of games these days, NOT the athletes!

  50. Different city, same results. It’s not coach. It’s not the QB. It is the franchise.

    The chargers are cursed. this.

  51. Staley will get fired, but Payton is overrated. Good coach, but he’s not this great wizard the media portrays him to be. Same records in regular season and postseason as Mike McCarthy. Only 1 Super Bowl, and he had some loaded teams and a HOF QB for 15 years. He will make them competitive each year though.

  52. The defensive coordinator should have to walk home and should have been fired in Jacksonville last night.

  53. Winning by losing is what we’ve hoped for. An epic collapse by a so called defensive minded head coach who has consistently failed but Telesco will probably not get rid of. This GM has hired three head coaches and the Spanos family has traditionally not gone after the big name. In this case they should. Payton would have this team play for a conference title in one year. Just an historic collapse to go on Staley’s resume.

  54. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did…Remember, they fired Marty after a 14-2 season.

  55. Staley will have to go. There is no excuse for losing after you had a 27 point lead. To make sure that Staley won’t get lonely going out the door, the DC should go out with him.

  56. jediwrstlr says:
    January 15, 2023 at 3:46 am
    Completely rigged game. Officials determine the outcome of games these days, NOT the athletes!
    So the officials first wanted the Chargers to win and then changed their minds for Jacksonville?

  57. Staley needs to go…
    and the other person this loss falls on is Nick Bosa. What a punk

  58. I don’t get the hype for Sean Payton. He’s roughly the same as Mike Mccarthy. I’d send Staley packing, and look to hire an upcoming coordinator. Payton will cost a ton of money AND draft picks. The money doesn’t mean anything…the draft picks really do tho

  59. philly00jett says:
    January 15, 2023 at 1:38 am
    Doug Pederson could get Erkel and 10 friends ready to play anyone. While the fawning national media fell in love with McVay, all Coach P did was beat McVay IN Los Angeles in route to the best in NFC record and home field advantage. The he beat McVay AGAIN in 2018….

    Sean McVay has nothing to do with this game or Pederson’s career other than your strange obsession with him. It seems that you are jealous of McVay.

  60. I don’t get how the coach who is famous for going for it on 4th down in the most unconventional times and takes huge gambles on it then settles for 22 and 23 yard field goals. He never went for the kill shot and just played it overly safe. I don’t buy the Sean Payton hype but Staley is a knucklehead who deserves blame for this choke job.

  61. Mr. Payton will be looking for a top quarterback and the Chargers have a future hall of famer in
    Mr. Herbert. Will ownership grant him the leeway to do everything he wants?

  62. Payton only made it to one Super Bowl and that was because the team cheated with their bounty program. I would look elsewhere for a new coach!

  63. Seems like they should be better with the talent they have. Or maybe not as much talent as we thought?

  64. One of the most likeable QBs in football paired with one of the most arrogant coaches ever. Cringe

  65. The Spanos family has a reputation for not wanting to pay coaches what the market says they’re worth. Can’t see Payton landing there (though if he does, it will be epic).

  66. I think you’ve got to give someone else a chance to show what they can do with this roster. Staley has shown he’s not the guy.

  67. As a Saints fan Payton to the chargers is a perfect fit. Herbert is a Brees clone and Payton wants that again.

  68. The Chargers season always ends in epic fashion with this guy. He has to go. Any experienced coach would want this job.

  69. Chargers need an offensive minded coach with post season experience. If they are too cheap to go after Payton, then get someone like Frank Reich. Much cheaper and has a track record with QBs of all kinds. Hell, he made Carson Wentz look like a viable QB for a while.

  70. I thought Staley should be on the hot seat sense that week 17 loss to the Raiders last year in which he made a few bonehead decisions. Blowing a 27 pt lead to end this season probably is the final nail in the coffin for him.

  71. Think Staley is toast. (See what I did there?)

    Do not think Payton winds up here.

    Frank Reich might be interesting. Jason Garrett, too (seriously). David Shaw might be a very interesting choice as well.

  72. I have no rooting interest in the LAC, but I don’t see how Staley survives this.

    My first thought when the FG was good to give the Jags the win was, “Staley is gone.”

    The Chargers have the talent to make a LOT of noise. They need a better noise maker than the one they have.

  73. I thought Staley and Lombardi should have been fired the moment Herbert dropped back to pass after the Chargers got the ball back leading 30-28. You have freaking Ekeler! Run the ball and take time off the freaking clock!

  74. I could see Payton jumping at the job except for one thing and that’s the lack of an enthusiastic fan base.

  75. That franchise might need a new head coach and OC but they DEFINITELY need an exorcist. Some teams just have that constant ability to snatch failure from the jaws of success.

  76. 1. Payton won’t take the job with Mahomes in the division. Maybe something in NFC South where could rebuild any team if he gets a QB. Once Brady leaves, it’s wide open.

    2. Herbert is above average and played that way what I am assuming broken ribs at minimum if not something else.

    3. This sure feels like Marty ball from back when Rivers and Tomlinson would get a lead and just go limp.

  77. Staley reminds me a certain coach in Detroit. The difference is, Campbell has seemingly learned some lessons about when to go for it and when not to. Staley? Not so much. If pride does indeed come before the fall, I thought I just heard a crash in LA.

  78. itsouryear says:
    January 14, 2023 at 11:53 pm
    If the fire Staley then they should cut or trade Bosa. His bonehead penalty was the back breaker. What a stupid and selfish move throwing his helmet.


    A player doing such a thing shows a lack of discipline, which starts with the head coach.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.