Three days after enduring one of the most challenging defensive displays in his three-year tenure, Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley affirmed his commitment to maintaining his play-calling responsibilities without contemplating major alterations.
While acknowledging the need for ongoing adjustments throughout the season, Staley emphasized that no significant changes were currently under consideration. On Wednesday, Staley expressed confidence in the team’s playing style and the individuals on the field, saying, “We believe in how we play, and we believe in the guys that we’re playing with.” Staley went on to say, “I think if you feel like it gives you the best chance to win or you think they spark your team or something, people do that. But we don’t feel like that’s the direction we’re gonna take.”
The Chargers let up an incredible 533 yards and five touchdowns, including 177 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the first half, in their most recent loss to the Detroit Lions. This defensive breakdown came after the team lost to the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 and gave up 536 yards. Both of these losses were decided by three points or less, despite these difficulties.
Before this season, the Chargers had allowed over 500 yards in a game only once during Staley’s tenure, in a 2021 victory against the Cleveland Browns. However, high-scoring and closely contested games have been a recurring theme under Staley, with his defenses ranking among the league’s bottom tier while the offenses consistently perform at the top of the NFL.
The Chargers’ quarterback Justin Herbert stood out for his outstanding performance in the most recent game against the Lions, throwing for 323 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. His passing yards were at their highest since Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings, and this was one of his greatest outings of the season.
Earlier in the season, Herbert had suffered a setback when he attempted to tackle a defender after making an interception in Week 4, breaking his middle finger. He saw a decline in performance in the next several weeks, throwing career lows in passing yards (136 yards against the New York Jets) and completions (13 against the Las Vegas Raiders) while sporting a splint on the injured finger. But in the game against the Lions, he seemed to have been his normal self again.
The good news is that Herbert practiced without the splint for the first time since the injury on Wednesday. In spite of this development, he expressed doubt that he would play without the splint in the forthcoming game against the Green Bay Packers, saying, “I think, maybe, the first couple of weeks, there might have been a difference. But having it get better, it’s kind of going back to normal.”