Two years after leading the Los Angeles Chargers to a 12-4 finish and the team's first playoff appearance in five years, Anthony Lynn is out as the club's head coach. The team announced Monday, one day after closing the 2020 season third in the AFC West at 7-9, that it has dismissed Lynn after four seasons with the franchise.
The 52-year-old Lynn was reportedly expected back in Los Angeles as of earlier this week, with CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora noting that Chargers ownership has long believed in the coach's leadership abilities. But leading up to Week 17, per La Canfora, there was still uncertainty about whether L.A. would be spurred to make a change because of this year's abundance of "operational issues in-game, including too many players on the field in critical junctures ... odd decisions at the end of the first and second halves, and a lack of consistency overall."
The Chargers infamously lost a number of late leads in 2020, their second straight season without a playoff appearance, and despite a promising, record-breaking debut by rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. A prized hire from the Buffalo Bills in 2017, Lynn went 9-7 during his first season at the helm of L.A.'s staff, before guiding Philip Rivers and Co. to the divisional round the following year. The team plummeted to 5-11 in 2019, Rivers' final season with the team, before finishing just below .500 this season.
Lynn departs the Chargers with a career coaching record of 33-31, not including a 1-1 playoff mark, and figures to draw immediate interest elsewhere during the 2021 head coaching cycle. Los Angeles, meanwhile, could become one of the most attractive destinations for other coaching candidates, primarily because of Herbert's emerging presence at QB.