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Brandon Staley's never-ending hot seat finally burned up. The Los Angeles Chargers fired Staley as head coach following Thursday night's blowout loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, ending a tumultuous three-year stint as head coach of the franchise, the team announced. The Chargers also fired general manager Tom Telesco, who has been the team's general manager since 2013.

The team also announced that outside linebackers coach Giff Smith will serve as the interim head coach, while director of player personnel JoJo Wooden will assume the role of interim GM. L.A. added Friday that defensive run game coordinator and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers has also been dismissed.

Even with Justin Herbert at quarterback, the Chargers failed to win a playoff game in Staley's tenure. The Chargers went 24-24 in Staley's three seasons at the helm, having a winning record in each of his first two seasons but bottoming out at 5-9 so far this season -- which was considered a make-or-break year for Staley as the team's head coach. 

"I want to thank Tom and Brandon for their hard work, dedication and professionalism, and wish both them and their great families nothing but the best," said Chargers owner and chairman of the board Dean Spanos. "These decisions are never easy, nor are they something I take lightly – especially when you consider the number of people they impact. We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision. Doing nothing in the name of continuity was not a risk I was willing to take. Our fans have stood strong through so many ups and downs and close games. They deserve more. Frankly, they've earned more. Building and maintaining a championship-caliber program remains our ultimate goal. And reimagining how we achieve that goal begins today."

Under Staley, the Chargers finished with consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 2017 and 2018. Los Angeles made the playoffs for the first since since 2018 and finished with just its second double-digit win season since 2009. But even though the Chargers have won games, Staley was responsible for clock management, over-aggressiveness, and in-game decisions that have cost his team wins. 

The 2023 AFC wild card loss was a prime example, which was a second-half collapse for the ages (the Chargers lost 31-30 after leading 27-0 in the first half). In the 27-point playoff collapse to Jacksonville, Los Angeles actually had a drop-back percentage of 75% after building that 27-0 lead -- higher than Jacksonville at 70%. Staley also infamously had a collapse in Week 18 of the 2021 season (which cost the Chargers a playoff spot) despite Herbert being perfect on fourth down in the fourth quarter. 

In fact, Staley has stumbled in the final game in each of his three seasons as head coach:

2021: Lost 35-32 at Raiders in Week 18

  • Both teams needed win or tie to clinch playoff spot
  • Staley called a controversial timeout with 0:38 left in OT

2022: Lost 31-30 at Jaguars in wild card round 

  • Chargers led 27-0 in the second quarter
  • Marked the 3rd-largest blown lead in NFL playoff history

2023: Lost 63-21 at Raiders in Week 15

  • Most points allowed in Chargers history
  • Trailed 49-0 in third quarter

The Chargers were just 24-23 in Herbert's 47 starts under Staley. Herbert is 30-32 in his four seasons as the Chargers starter, as the offense averaged 24.4 points per game and allowed 24.8 points per game. That's the second-most team points per game by a quarterback with a losing record since 1950 with a minimum of 50 starts (Trent Green was the worst). Herbert also has 14 losses by three or fewer points -- the most by a starting quarterback in his first four seasons since 1950, per CBS Sports Research.

Despite going to the Chargers with a defensive background, Staley's L.A. defenses weren't impressive. The defense never ranked higher than 20th in yards allowed per game and 27th in points allowed per game in his three years. The Chargers ranked 31st in points per game allowed (24.8) and 29th in yards allowed per game (359.6) in Staley's three seasons.

Thursday's blowout loss to the Raiders was the final straw for the Chargers, who have lost five of their last six games before firing Staley. The Chargers join the Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers as the third team to fire a coach during the 2023 season.