Chargers WR Keenan Allen disapproves of Brandon Staley's late 4th-down gamble vs. Browns: 'WTF are we doing'

To the surprise of few, Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley rolled the dice on fourth down on Sunday. It's what he does.

His latest gamble/decision didn't set will with multiple players, including Pro Bowl Chargers receiver Keenan Allen.

With 1:14 remaining, the Chargers faced fourth-and-a-long 1 at their own 46-yard line while leading, 30-28, against the Cleveland Browns. Staley faced a decision: Go for it and seal the win with a first down or punt and pin the Browns deep in their territory. Staley opted to go for it with the downside leaving a short field for a Browns team that needed just a FG to take the lead.

The play failed. Justin Herbert's pass to Mike Williams was broken up by cornerback Martin Emerson Jr., and the Browns took over on downs. Allen, sidelined for a fourth straight week with an ankle injury, did not like what he saw.

He tweeted from wherever he was watching the game. It's unclear if he disapproved of the decision to go for it, the play call or both. But his feelings were evident.

Fortunately for the Chargers, the Browns didn't make them pay for coming up short. Cleveland gained just 10 yards on its ensuing possession, and Cade York missed a 54-yard field goal with 16 seconds remaining. The Chargers held on for the 30-28 win. Allen reiterated his feelings after the win was secured.

Keep an eye on this one. Star players openly questioning the decisions of their head coaches isn't generally a recipe for harmony.

Browns All-Pro pass rusher Myles Garrett, meanwhile, found the decision "disrespectful."

“I expect him to go for it, but it’s still disrespectful to us," Garrett said postgame, per WKYC's Ben Axelrod. "I know he has an offense that was doing very well the whole day, and he expects them to get the first down. But to us, that’s telling us that he can take advantage of us and we don’t take that very kindly."

Garrett's opinion, of course, doesn't mean nearly as much in Los Angeles as Allen's. Opposing players will find motivation wherever they can.

So was it a good decision? The analytics didn't reach a consensus on the gamble, but lean mostly toward going for it as the right decision. Per The Athletic's analytics guru Ben Baldwin, the gamble was a no-brainer, increasing the Chargers' chances of winning the game by 11.7%.

NFL's Next Gen stats, meanwhile, calculated that punting in that spot was ever so slightly the optimal play by 0.2%. So basically a coin toss.

It's unclear where the discrepancy lies between the disparate calculations. The extra 0.7 yard seems unlikely considering Baldwin's heavy lean toward going for it. Meanwhile, ESPN's Seth Walder ran the numbers including a fourth-and-2 scenario that still favored going for it.

Taking everything here into account, the analytics leaned strongly in favor of Staley's decision to go for it. Even if Allen doesn't like it.

Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley waves as he leaves the field after his team defeated the Cleveland Browns in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Cleveland. The Browns lost 30-28.(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)
Brandon Staley's late-game gamble against the Browns appeared to backfire -- until it didn't. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)