Does Brandon Staley have to playoff to keep his job?

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley watches during the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Riders at the Allegiance Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 09, 2022.
(Photo by Steve Marcus / Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Chargers have a lot to look forward to this upcoming season.

They are proud of one of Justin Herbert’s game-elite quarterbacks, who is just 24 years old and about to enter his third season in the NFL.

Even better, the Chargers have a vastly modified defense that will showcase the talents of pass-rush Khalil Mack, cornerback Jesse Jackson and defensive linemen Austin Johnson and Sebastian Joseph-Day.

Head coach Brandon Staley is in an enviable position, but he is also under a lot of pressure.

The Chargers have only played-off twice in the last dozen years, and their longtime fans are hungry for a valid run in the Super Bowl or at least a deep trip to the playoffs.

Could missing the play-off pay for Staley’s job again?

Staley has the tools to get it done

Staley was hired to replace Anthony Lynn about a year ago, with Bolts having a weak tenure.

He took the team as close to the playoffs as possible without going there in 2021, losing an epic contest to the Las Vegas Riders in 18 weeks of overtime.

This season, the Chargers have a roster that is probably looking good enough to compete for the World Championships.

In addition to all the additions mentioned on the defensive side of Herbert and football, they will continue to enjoy the services of Joe Bosa of Pro Bowl Pass Rasha and Pro Bowl defender Darwin James.

Offensively, LA still has Kinan Allen, one of the game’s best wide receivers, a very good WR2 from Mike Williams, and a great dual-threat back to Austin Eckler.

In 2021, Eckler had a total of 1,558 yards and 20 run / receiving touchdowns from Scrimmage, which tied him to first place in the NFL in the next division.

The Chargers have been at the top of the league in a number of offensive divisions, but their ground game, which is only 21 yards away, could improve.

Except for the potential injury, there is no excuse

Yes, the AFC, especially the AFC West, will be bleeding this coming season.

But the Chargers have plenty of weapons on both sides of the football, possibly including one of Herbert’s nuclear weapons.

They have a very realistic chance of winning the division, and even if they don’t, every team in the AFC West could very well advance to the playoffs.

The measure of a good or great coach is how much he manages from the talents and players that are given to the coach.

Staley will have many potential pro bowlers to coach in 2022, and it is up to him to combine them and ensure that the whole is more than the sum of his parts.

One positive is that some of his new players have played for him before.

If the Chargers don’t have significant injuries, they have no excuse to miss the playoffs again.

If they do, Staley has a good chance of being in the hot seat.

On the other hand, who can be found in that situation who will be better than him?

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