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Monday, January 24, 2022

Chargers Brandon Staley Defends Fourth Down Tries Against Chiefs

Brandon Staley’s mixed results, trailing fourth place in front of a national audience on Thursday night, sparked the latest controversy over the use of analytics in the NFL.

The Chargers left points on the field after a 2-of-5 following a fourth loss during a 34-28 overtime defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs at Sophie Stadium.

Two of the three unsuccessful fourth downs were within the Chiefs’ 5-yard line for remaining goals. The third error occurred on the chiefs’ 28-yard line.

For those making simple calculations, the Chargers scored three field goal attempts and earned nine points. But the Chargers’ freshman head coach prefers hard mathematics and hasn’t regretted taking an aggressive approach the day after a heartbreaking loss.

“I’m never going to gamble like a coach,” Staley said Friday. “These players mean too much to me. Our team means too much to me. I don’t gamble at all. I’m definitely not going to be reckless. I felt that these were favorable situations for us. I didn’t think that any of these possibilities reduced our chances of winning.

“I felt it greatly improved our chances of winning. What we’re trying to establish here is thinking that we’re going to try to win the game on our terms and the team will have to beat us. ”

The fourth down decision, which many had a hard time comprehending, was the last game before halftime, when quarterback Justin Herbert was unable to connect with wide-ranging successor Keenan Allen of the Chiefs 1-yard line when the Chargers were leading 14-10.

Staley said the potential 17-10 lead when the Chiefs get the ball to kick off the second half wouldn’t matter because of the Chiefs’ reputation as a hitting goal.

“I thought we were playing really, really well defensively,” Staley said of the decisive game. “I felt that if you (take) the top three there and go up seven points, then if Kansas City scores it’s a one possession game. This is a one-hold game. I really felt like pushing them to score 21-10. I felt it would give us a split in the second half that would lead us to the type of game we wanted to play. ”

Perhaps the 21-10 score would have created more obvious passing situations to give the Chargers flexibility against Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but that didn’t happen.

Staley has consistently held a high-risk, high-reward perspective this season. He is a fan of analytics, but his aggressive decisions are based more on the attack he has and the opponents he faces.

For Staley, going under four yards is no problem for Herbert and his many playmakers, and he knows shots instead of touchdowns usually don’t win against the Chiefs.

The Chargers beat the Chiefs in week three at Arrowhead Stadium with the same aggressive game plan, except they realized a decisive fourth setback.

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Staley played with the best odds on Thursday night and had no problem getting criticized for his failed fourth downs.

“Real football people understand that I am focusing on the strengths of our football team,” Staley said. “I’m trying to make decisions that I think will help us win the game. I’m ready to live with all this smoke. I was very frank on this matter. What makes football and competition so great is that there can’t be perfect solutions.

“You need to be able to live with the decisions, and your team needs to know why you make those decisions so that they can live with them too. I know my way of thinking, I know my way of thinking here. I also understand criticism. I fully understand that too. I think we are creating something special here. I’m proud of how we competed last night. ”

Allen embraced Staley’s aggressive mindset because it helped them win single-shot games at the start of the season and avoided having to rely on the kicker, which hasn’t worked out for this franchise lately.

“We said it at the beginning of the season, we go for it,” Allen said. “We need points, especially when you play with a team like that, you should get seven points, not three. … (This) leaves the game in our hands. I don’t want to kick the ball, look at it and hope. I’d rather stay there and let us do it. ”

For Chargers defender Chris Harris Jr., the real deciding factor for Thursday’s outcome was Derwin James’ absence from the field in the second half.

James’ hamstring injury bothered him throughout the game, and the Chargers decided to pull him out in the third quarter. Tight End Chiefs Travis Kelsey dealt most of his damage while James was on the touchline, including a winning 34-yard touchdown overtime.

Staley said he doesn’t believe James injured his hamstring any further while playing against the Chiefs.

“DJ (James) got in and out of the game,” Harris said. “He tried to fight for us with all his might. He just needed rest. You put the DJ on Kelsey, what do you think will happen? Next time there will be a different game. ”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
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