After an embarrassing playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars this past weekend, the Los Angeles Chargers have decided to relieve offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi of his duties.
The Chargers had a 27-point lead in the first half that they squandered, losing as time expired by a final score of 31-30.
There has been a lot of discussion about who the Chargers organization would hold accountable for the defeat, and for now, it looks like Lombardi will be the public scapegoat.
We’ll continue to monitor news coming out of Los Angeles to see if they make any other changes to their coaching staff.
Los Angeles Looks Ahead
It’s going to be a painful offseason for the Chargers and their fans. It seemed like they had a trip to the second round against the Kansas City Chiefs all but solidified. The Chargers played the Chiefs very well during the regular season, losing both games only by a combined total of six points. There was a realistic possibility that Los Angeles could make the AFC championship game, but those hopes have since been dashed.
The team probably didn’t want it to happen this way, but they’re now in a position to identify an individual who can consistently put young star quarterback Justin Herbert in a consistent spot to succeed. During Lombardi’s two seasons as offensive coordinator, the Chargers ranked third and second respectively in the NFL in passing attempts. It would appear as if the attack should’ve been more balanced, especially with running back Austin Ekeler in the fold.
Prior to his hiring as offensive coordinator in Los Angeles, Lombardi had a couple of years of experience in the same capacity with the Detroit Lions a few years ago. He was their playcaller in 2014 and 2015, and established some consistent tendencies there that he showed with Los Angeles as well. Lombardi’s Lions offense threw the ball the 11th most times in the league in 2014, and the fourth most times in 2015. In both Los Angeles and Detroit, Lombardi-led offenses have been in the bottom third of the league in rushing attempts.
Lombardi made a name for himself in the NFL working under Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints for many years. He was on their offensive staff from 2007-2013, and then again from 2016-2020. For the majority of that time, he served as quarterbacks coach to Drew Brees. It’s interesting that Los Angeles would decide to fire Lombardi with speculation present that the team should bring in Payton to be their next head coach.
If the former Chargers’ last name sounds familiar to you as a football fan, that’s because it is. Joe Lombardi is the grandson of legendary Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi.
Vince Lombardi is arguably one of the most popular coaches not just in football history, but in sports lore. His grandson should be able to remain close to the game as long as he wants, considering his offensive acumen, and his family lineage.