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Brandon Staley Explains What Went Wrong on Chargers' Goal Line Interception vs. Chiefs

Justin Herbert's goal line pass to Gerald Everett was intercepted in the fourth quarter, resulting in a pick-six. Chargers coach Brandon Staley explains the play.

The chemistry through the first two weeks of the season between Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert and tight end Gerald Everett has come together rather quickly. 

Everett, who joined the Chargers this offseason, leads the team with 125 receiving yards after games against the Raiders and Chiefs to open up the year.

However, the one time Herbert and Everett were out of sync with one another came early in the fourth quarter of Thursday night's game with the Chargers offense at the Kansas City 3-yard line.

Herbert had just hit Everett on consecutive plays, picking up a 7-yard gain followed up a 26-yard play. After finding success on the previous tries, Herbert looked in the direction of Everett yet again, but was intercepted when Jaylen Watson picked off the pass and returned it for a 99-yard touchdown.

"It’s just a tough moment," Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. "It’s one of those unlucky plays in a ball game. I think that we’ll learn a lot from it. In that sequence, we’re trying to push the pace, force them to communicate after a big play. We’re just trying to get down there and force that defense to respond."

The Chargers ran a hurry up offense approach after Herbert connected with Everett for the 26-yard chunk play that set them up at the goal line. But with the Chargers going with an upbeat tempo, they were unable to get on the same page themselves, leading to a game-altering turnover.

"When the play doesn’t express itself right away, I think that we can learn from it on both sides. Just a tough one," Staley said. "Obviously, that turned the tide of the game. That was a big momentum swing, but we’ll learn a lot from it and we’ll move forward. I thought Gerald competed at a really high level last night. He gave us a real chance in the game and I’m really proud of how he is playing for us right now.”

Staley, on Monday while speaking with reporters via Zoom, further explained what they were trying to do on the goal line play.

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“Gerald has a route to the flat, and if he’s matched to the flat, which he was, then what we teach him is to snap back in and try to get a box out, outside-in, on the guy," Staley said. "That’s what Justin was anticipating. It just didn’t happen as quickly as I think either one would have hoped. That’s where the miscommunication was.”

While the Week 2 miscue between Herbert and Everett turned out to be a pivotal shift in the game, there's a lot to be encountered about regarding their connection early on this season.

Everett finished the game as the Chargers' second leading receiver with 71 yards on six receptions. It's clear with him in the offense, the Chargers are able to use the tight end more regularly than they have in previous seasons.

The team will have 10 days to make adjustments before hosting the Jaguars at SoFi Stadium in Week 3 on Sept. 25.


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Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.