At some point, maybe Brandon Staley and Dave Roberts should sit down for a chat to discuss the best method for ignoring second-guessers.
The Dodgers manager has heard plenty of it in his six seasons, even during the year his team won a World Series. (One blogger, after all, wondered if he should be fired if his team won it all. I think we know how that turned out.)
Meanwhile, the first-year Chargers head coach left himself open to scrutiny with plenty of aggressive decisions this past season. The head-scratching extended to the very last moments of Game 17, and the timeout in overtime that preceded Daniel Carlson’s game-winning field goal in a 35-32 Raiders victory Sunday night in Las Vegas, knocking Staley’s team out of the playoffs after a dramatic, gutsy and almost otherworldly performance by quarterback Justin Herbert.
Or if it wasn’t the timeout, it was the fourth-and-1 from their own 18-yard line in the third quarter that spectacularly backfired, when the Raiders stuffed Austin Ekeler at the line for a 1-yard loss, took over possession and took a 20-14 lead on Carlson’s 31-yard field goal three plays later.
Then again, the Chargers converted three fourth-and-10 plays, one at their own 17 and another helped along by a defensive holding penalty, on their game-tying drive in the fourth quarter. But the failures are what people remember, and the three spurned field goals in the overtime loss to Kansas…