By Marc Lawrence, PlaybookSports.com — Chargers head coach Brandon Staley’s fourth-down decision-making has made him a magnet for criticism.
He did it again Sunday when Staley opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 24-yard-line while leading by four points with just under two minutes left to play. They were stuffed short of the line and the Vikings got the ball in prime position to pull out a win.
He’s more than a magnet. He’s delirious, except he got away with it when Minnesota’s pass from the 2-yard was picked off in the endzone to seal the game for the Bolts.
“It was fourth down and less than a yard,” Staley said in his postgame press conference. “They had no timeouts. And I believe in our offense. I believe in our offensive line, our tight ends, our quarterback. I felt like we had a good play for what they would be in, and it didn’t go down. We were protecting four points, not three. Again, if it was a three-point play it would have been a different decision. I felt like our defense could play the way it did down the stretch. I make no apologies for that.”
Staley gives the name “Riverboat Gambler” a whole new persona.