Terrible decision could haunt Chargers against Jaguars

Mike Williams, Chargers, Jaguars, NFL (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Mike Williams, Chargers, Jaguars, NFL (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Chargers will be without a key playmaker in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, thanks to a terrible decision.

When the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday afternoon, the Ravens fell to 10-7 and thus became locked into the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoffs.

So at 10-6, the Los Angeles Chargers, who had not yet played their final game of the regular season against the Denver Broncos, secured the No. 5 seed, having already clinched a better AFC record and thus the tiebreaker over the Ravens for the top Wild Card spot.

Heading into the Broncos game, the Chargers knew that their AFC Wild Card opponent would be the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars had just secured the AFC South title with a win over the Tennessee Titans the night before, clinching them the No. 4 seed and a home Wild Card playoff game.

Yet Chargers head coach Brandon Staley inexplicably opted to play his starters not just for the first few drives but for most of the game, and that decision has already cost the team in a big way.

Chargers leading wide receiver Mike Williams suffered a back injury in the 31-28 loss to the Broncos.

Williams was initially considered questionable for Saturday night’s Wild Card matchup at TIAA Bank Field, but he has since been ruled out not just for this game but for the next two to three weeks.

The Chargers will more than likely need to make a Super Bowl run in order for Williams to see the field this postseason, and a loss on Saturday night will only further fuel the criticism that has been aimed at Staley since long before this latest instance of mismanagement.

While Los Angeles is still favored to beat Jacksonville, they have gone from 2.5-point favorites to 1.5-point favorites in the span of a day.

The Jaguars and Chargers met back in Week 3 at SoFi Stadium, with the Jaguars earning a dominant 38-10 road victory. Williams scored the Chargers’ lone touchdown in that game.

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