SAN DIEGO (AP) Chargers coach Mike McCoy is defending his decision not to use his final two timeouts at the end of the first half of Sunday’s loss at Cincinnati and at least get the ball back and take a few shots down the field with Philip Rivers and his talented receivers.
The Chargers trailed 14-6 at the time and ended up losing 24-19 in a game in which they had three turnovers, some foolish penalties, got pushed around on both sides of the ball and failed to sack Andy Dalton.
The Bengals had the ball at their 41 with 1:16 left in the first half and were content to run out the clock. McCoy, as he’s done before, didn’t use his timeouts.
”Every week it’s going to be different and you have a feeling on how your team’s playing at a certain time of the game and the situation of the game,” McCoy said Monday.
He cited a number of factors, chief among them that the Chargers were receiving the second-half kickoff. He also mentioned that the Chargers had two turnovers at that point and there was a good chance they’d get pinned deep.
”To be honest with you it worked out the way I thought it would,” McCoy said.
The Chargers took the opening kickoff of the second half and moved 78 yards, getting a 10-yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Stevie Johnson to pull to 14-13. The Chargers (1-1) never took the lead.
McCoy said the decision had nothing to do with a lack of confidence in the offensive line, which had a rough game with penalties and allowing Rivers to be sacked four times.
As expected, players deferred to their coach’s decision.
”You know how I like the deep ball, but I’m really on coach,” wide receiver Malcom Floyd said. ”He has experience coaching this team and knowing where everyone can be, and just knowing his players.”
Floyd caught a 40-yard scoring pass from Rivers with 4:29 left. The two-point conversion attempt failed. The Chargers got the ball back with 1:09 left and Rivers was intercepted on the second play.
”I think it depends on the situation,” center Chris Watt said. ”Whatever’s working.”
Asked if he would have liked to have gotten the ball back at the end of the half, receiver Keenan Allen said: ”I don’t know. It’s the coach’s decision.”
The Bengals benefited from a review late in the first half. Dalton was hit by Manti Te’o as his arm started forward, resulting in a fumble that Jerry Attaochu returned for a touchdown. After a review, it was ruled an incompletion, and the Bengals ran out the clock to take their eight-point lead into halftime.
San Diego has only one sack in two games, by rookie linebacker Kyle Emanuel in the opening win against Detroit.
While end Corey Liuget called the defensive effort ”ugly,” he said the sacks will come. San Diego had only 26 sacks last season.
”If you watch the film closely, you’ll see. It’s about a split of a second. It’s closer than it’s ever been,” Liuget said. ”The sacks will come, everything will come. It’s only Week 2.”
Mentioning Teo’s play, Liuget said: ”When you watch the film, you’ll see a lot more like that. Jimmy Wilson’s coming, Weddle’s coming, everyone’s coming. We’ve got unblocked guys. It’s just all about timing.”
The Chargers visit Minnesota on Sunday. It’ll be an intriguing matchup not only because they’ll be trying to stop Adrian Peterson, but the Vikings’ offensive coordinator, Norv Turner, was San Diego’s coach from 2007-2012. The Chargers reached the AFC championship game in Turner’s first season. He was fired after they missed the playoffs three straight seasons.