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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Keenan Allen left stunned by Brandon Staley’s awful 4th-down call

Keenan Allen watches from the sideline

Jan 9, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) looks on before the game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley made a fourth-down play call that was so baffling, one of his own players couldn’t keep from trashing it on social media.

Staley tried a ridiculous gamble as the Chargers tried to see out a 30-28 lead against the Cleveland Browns. The Chargers could have clinched a victory if they picked up a first down on 3rd-and-3, but Austin Ekeler was stopped short of the marker. Facing 4th-and-1 from their own 46, the Chargers appeared certain to punt.

Staley had other ideas.

With 1:13 left and the ball in his own territory, he sent the offense back on the field and went for it. Justin Herbert’s pass attempt to Mike Williams fell incomplete, giving the Browns the ball at the Chargers’ 46 needing only a field goal to go ahead.

The absurd decision to go for it was criticized immediately. One of the critics was Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, who missed his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. Allen was relegated to watching on TV, and he did not exactly mince words when he saw Staley’s decision.

Allen’s question was echoed by plenty of Chargers fans, no doubt. If he is having those thoughts, some other players probably are as well.

Amazingly, Staley and the Chargers got away with it. Browns kicker Cade York wound up missing a 53-yard field goal attempt, and Los Angeles escaped with a 30-28 win. Allen still was not in a forgiving mood after the miss, as his next tweet indicated he would have had a hard time getting over a defeat of that nature.

This is hardly the first time that Staley’s baffling in-game management has prompted scrutiny. He may have gotten away with this one, but the second-year coach seems to be getting worse, not better, when it comes to in-game decisions.


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