Mike McCoy has got to go. The San Diego Chargers head coach is the absolute worst and he’s not getting better. For the love of all that’s holy — and for the sake of my sanity — the Chargers must fire McCoy immediately after his team’s latest meltdown.
With 6:50 left in their contest with the winless New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Chargers were up 34-21 and had the ball. Melvin Gordon proceeded to fumble it away on his own 13-yard line and the Saints capitalized with a touchdown on the ensuing drive.
With 4:50 to go, San Diego started with the ball on their 25-yard line with a 34-28 lead. On the first play of the drive, Travis Benjamin caught a five-yard pass and fumbled it away again. Before Benjamin’s mishap, the Chargers had a win probability of 98.5 percent. Clearly ESPN’s model didn’t account for McCoy.
The Saints then scored another touchdown, taking a 35-34 lead.
When the Chargers got the ball back with 1:57 to go and a chance to win the game with a field goal, their drive was an absolute abomination. Philip Rivers was sacked on the first play. On the second play, the snap rolled to him forcing him to cover it and take another sack. That meant Rivers had to hurl two deep balls (on 3rd and 22 and 4th and 22) on the next two plays. A fourth-down interception ended things.
A good, composed team would have been able to mount a late drive against the Saints’ porous defense. But the Bolts are never composed when it matters. Additionally, McCoy had wasted two timeouts earlier in the second half, leaving his team with just one. No one was on the same page when the Chargers got the ball back and Rivers had no chance to even get the team moving. It was an all-too-familiar script that must finally have a consequence for the guy at the top.
Luckily for McCoy, he didn’t seem to concerned with the whole thing:
The Chargers do the exact same thing every week: start off hot, look good in the first half, drift a bit in the third quarter, then completely collapse in the fourth. It’s like clockwork and it’s infuriating. Teams take on the attitude and personality of their head coaches, and the Chargers blasé attitude and lack of urgency when finishing games perfectly reflects the man in charge. The team has absolutely zero fire late in games and that’s a direct reflection on the head coach. At this point I’m convinced McCoy was once bitten by a radioactive jar of mayonnaise given his less-than-enthusiastic personality.
The reaction above is right after Benjamin’s fumble. Seriously, someone needs to check McCoy’s pulse. I’d be shocked if his heart actually beats more than once a year.
The Chargers have the talent to win games; unfortunately they don’t have the the kind of coach who can help guide them there. What has McCoy done to validate his position as a head coach in the NFL? He has a 23-29 record in his fifth year with the Chargers. He went 9-7 during his first two seasons, reaching the playoffs in 2013, then followed that up with a 9-7 record in 2014. Since the start of the 2015 season he’s 5-15.
The mark of a good coach is getting the best of out his players in crunch time and making the right decisions with the game on the line. Since the start of last season, McCoy’s team has lost 12 games by eight or fewer points. Twelve games. Twelve! The Chargers have only played 20 total games! Conversely, they have only won three games decided by one score in that time. Sunday was also the sixth time they’ve blown a fourth quarter lead since 2015, and the third time this season. The Chargers are 1-3 this year, which means each loss has come from letting an opponent beat them after the Bolts led late.
In Week 1, the Chiefs trailed the Chargers by 17 with less than 10 minutes to go and won 33-27 in overtime. In Week 3 the Colts trailed the Bolts 22-20 with less than two minutes to go and won 26-22. And this week the Saints trailed by 13 with less than five minutes to go an won 35-34.
McCoy is a terrible head coach. There’s no other way to put it. No, he didn’t make Gordon and Benjamin fumble, but neither guy was poised or protecting the ball when he should have been. And the team didn’t have an answer when it needed one late. The Chargers had two minutes to drive the field and line up for what could have been a game-winning field goal. Instead they screwed around and wound up losing 12 yards before another turnover.
If Dean Spanos and his sons are serious about winning football games they will fire Mike McCoy immediately. If they don’t do that it’s just another example of how the Chargers ownership and front office are completely incompetent. Not that we needed more evidence of that.