It appears that Chargers HC Brandon Staley did indeed cost his team a spot in the playoffs by calling a timeout in overtime on Sunday night.
On 3rd-and-4 with 38 seconds left to go in the game, the Raiders appeared content to run out the clock to end the game in a tie that would have sent both the Chargers and Raiders into the playoffs. The Chargers would eventually call a timeout for whatever reason, and the Raiders responded by running the ball for a first down which led to them kicking a game-winning field goal moments later.
For inexplicable reasons, as the Raiders appeared willing to run out the clock and play for a tie — getting both teams in the playoffs — Brandon Staley called timeout with 5 seconds on the play clock and 38 seconds remaining in overtime. It cost the Chargers their season.
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) January 10, 2022
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth couldn't believe that Chargers head coach Brandon Staley called a timeout with 38 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/1LyfA7yYXv
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) January 10, 2022
After the game, Chargers’ Austin Ekeler could be seen asking a Raiders’ Trent Sieg if the Raiders were going to kneel the ball on the third down play, and Sieg appeared to say, “yeah.”