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NFL

The Chargers Have Once Again Been Owned By Time Itself

Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn talks with an official.
Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty

This is unbelievable! The Los Angeles Chargers, who have firmly established themselves as the worst clock-managing team in football, screwed up a late-clock scenario again. They had a chance to finish a drive with points, and they blew it. Why are they like this?

Unless you are a Falcons fan—and there are zero Falcons fans—this will hurt your brain. The Chargers took possession with 4:51 left in the first half following a Falcons touchdown. The ensuing drive was great! They used 15 plays and all but 22 seconds of clock to earn themselves a third-and-one from the Atlanta eight-yard line. They had no timeouts left, but thankfully this is a super easy situation to manage—simply run a pass play that’s designed to get a throw into the end zone, and if the pass is incomplete, kick a field goal. The only way to screw this up, really at all, is to get stuffed on a rushing play, because the clock will be running on fourth down, which means you cannot spike the ball to set up your field goal attempt. Simply do not run the ball. DO NOT RUN TH—

Back in November, when the Chargers wasted nearly a minute of clock on an incomprehensibly stupid play that cost them a perfectly respectable chance at a come-from-behind win against the Buffalo Bills, quarterback Justin Herbert defended the call by saying the team “believes in the guys up front,” in particular with “a chance to go and get one or two yards.” It was insanely dumb then and it is even more insanely dumb now, for having come so soon after that earlier failure.

Incredibly, head coach Anthony Lynn himself is now in charge of their special teams after they gave up two special teams touchdowns in a nightmare 45-0 loss in Week 13 to the New England Patriots. If nothing else, that consolidation will make it easier to jettison everyone responsible for this team’s ongoing catastrophic stupidity.