The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi, and Shane Day, their passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach, on Tuesday in the wake of the team’s second-half meltdown in a 31-30 loss in an AFC wild-card game Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Lombardi’s play-calling was the subject of much scrutiny this season, never more so than during the second half against the Jaguars. The Chargers took advantage of five takeaways, including four interceptions to build a 27-0 lead by the second quarter, but couldn’t maintain it in the second half.
But the Chargers gained only seven yards rushing after taking a 27-7 halftime lead, with Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley running consistently over the left side of the line even after left tackle Jamaree Salyer exited the game because of an ankle injury. The Chargers simply failed to possess the ball.
The moves Tuesday created two coveted job openings to work with standout Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert, who was the NFL’s second-leading passer during the regular season with 4,739 yards. Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs led the league with 5,250 yards.
Lombardi joined the Chargers after Brandon Staley was hired as the head coach following Anthony Lynn’s departure after the 2020 season. Lombardi has coached Herbert, Drew Brees while with the New Orleans Saints and Matthew Stafford with the Detroit Lions during his coaching career.
Alexander: Chargering taken to a new low in Jacksonville
Chargers review: Brandon Staley gets support from players
Game Day: For Chargers, it’s not fate, it’s failure
Chargers blow 27-point lead in playoff loss to Jaguars
Chargers WR Mike Williams’ injury absence sparks questions
Staley also hired Day in 2021.
Staley and general manager Tom Telesco are expected to meet with reporters later this week to deliver their post-season remarks.
More to come on this story.