NFL fans will be talking about Brandon Staley’s overtime timeout for a long time, and this footage from postgame handshakes certainly won’t help the Chargers’ coach clear his name.
All the Chargers and Raiders needed was a tie in order for both teams to advance to the postseason, And it appeared as though they were headed for that outcome with both teams tied at 32-apiece and less than a minute remaining in overtime.
Sitting at the Chargers’ 39-yard line and only 39 seconds remaining, the Raiders seemed content with just running the ball and allowing the rest of the time to run off the clock. However, Staley had other plans, as he inexplicably called a timeout with Vegas facing a 3rd & 4.
The decision left everyone puzzled, and it changed everything when Josh Jacobs broke off a 10-yard run immediately following the timeout, setting up Daniel Carlson for the 47-yard game-winning field goal.
After the game, during postgame handshakes, cameras caught Raiders long-snapper seemingly telling Chargers running back Austin Ekeler that Vegas had planned to kneel out the rest of the clock before Staley’s timeout. The reaction from Ekeler says it all:
Something tells me that the Chargers players may have a few questions for their head coach when they get to the locker room. What a rough way to miss out on the playoffs.
Even Justin Herbert was left wishing his team had just played for that tie.