Chargers’ Brandon Staley shares philosophy behind aggressiveness on fourth down

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Aggressive, effective, and efficient is the best way to describe Chargers head coach Brandon Staley.

The reason for that is because Staley has built a reputation for going for it on fourth down situations on a consistent basis.

However, he’s been successful at doing so.

Los Angeles has converted 7 of 8 fourth downs this season for a rate of 87.5% – third-best in the NFL behind the Cardinals (3 for 3) and Broncos (8 for 9).

Most recently in Bolts’ victory over the Browns, Staley went for it on fourth down three times, including once from their own 24-yard line, and he was successful on all attempts.

Staley recently said his philosophy attributes to quarterback Justin Herbert, and an analytics team that prepares with detailed risk assessment of various fourth-down opportunities.

In addition, the coordinators, the weather, field zone, where the ball is, and how far they have to go are all factored into the decision-making.

“In all those fourth-down situations, they all had a life of their own,” Staley said. “That needs to be expressed. Just because you make one, doesn’t mean you are playing with house money and are more likely to go with it. You treat each as its own, but we’ve done a good job of assessing risk.”

Herbert’s dominance coupled with Staley’s ability to keep him on the field for long durations has led to an average of 411 yards per game (7th), 28.4 points per game (tied-7th), and 24.8 first downs per game (5th).

The Chargers are set to take on the Ravens this weekend. Facing the No. 1 offense, Los Angeles will need to control the time of possession to keep the ball out of the hands of QB Lamar Jackson, which could mean more fourth-down attempts.