After blowing a 27-point lead—the largest in franchise history—during the 2022 NFL playoffs, the Los Angeles Chargers decided to retain Brandon Staley as their head coach. And while multiple changes were made to the team’s offensive coaching staff, including bringing in offensive coordinator Kellen Moore from Dallas, it’s been more of the same for Staley and Co.
No, they aren’t blowing historic leads in impressive fashion, but the Chargers have started the 2023 NFL season 0-2, dropping games to both the Miami Dolphins and Tennessee Titans. And you could very well make the argument that the Bolts could/should have won both matchups.
Whether a hangover from the 31-30 Wild Card Round loss continued to hang over the franchise is anyone’s guess. But it’s certainly an appropriate question for a reporter to ask, especially considering that the Chargers have now dropped three straight games, including the debacle in Jacksonville.
Following this past Sunday’s loss, a reporter referenced the playoff loss during Staley’s post-game presser, asking if that “sting” has potentially bled over into the 2023 season.
“I’m not worried about the Jacksonville loss. The Jacksonville loss hasn’t carried on to this season whatsoever,” Staley said, via the New York Post. “If you’ve seen our training camp, or you’ve seen the way we’ve played in the first two games it hasn’t had an impact on our team whatsoever. Our team is connected, our team has played its heart out in two games and we’ve lost two tough games but it has nothing to do with the Jacksonville game.”
In Staley’s postgame press conference (around the 3:45 mark), he answered the reporter’s question before it could be completely asked. He got a little testy, but the response seemed to be more around the narrative of the team than the reporter’s question, which was totally fair.
“If you ask anyone in our locker room, it has nothing to do with the Jacksonville game, and that’s just the truth,” Staley said.
Judging by his response to the initial question, it certainly seems like Staley wouldn’t be opposed to that question being asked in his locker room. And while you’d likely get a very PR-like response, you have to wonder if there is merit to the question at hand, and whether all 53 members of the Chargers, whether they were here last season or not, feel like that hangover has carried over from last season’s playoffs.
“It’s a convenient storyline for you and for everybody else, but it’s not the truth. We’ve lost two tough games, but the guys in that locker room, the men in that locker room, they are finishers and they have what it takes and we’re excited to prove ourselves,” he added.
If the Chargers start off 0-3, that question may very well be asked again.