Could Chargers' Loss Get Schottenheimer Fired?
The question now is whether Marty Schottenheimer's latest playoff failure will cost him his job with the San Diego Chargers.
There were reports even before Sunday's come-from-ahead defeat by the Chargers at home to the New England Patriots in an AFC semifinal that Schottenheimer could be fired if the club lost. If those reports were accurate, Schottenheimer could be on even shakier ground after making several questionable decisions during the game, including wasting a crucial timeout down the stretch on an ill-advised instant replay challenge of safety Marlon McCree's would-be game-saving interception turned calamitous fumble. He also tried a fourth-and-11 gamble in the first quarter instead of having Pro Bowl kicker Nate Kaeding try a 48-yard field goal.
It's no secret that the relationship between Schottenheimer and General Manager A.J. Smith is so strained that they barely have been on speaking terms at times, leading team president Dean Spanos to intervene in the past. Now his career playoff record has dropped to 5-13 and if Spanos and Smith believe they have a Super Bowl-ready team, there's room to wonder whether Schottenheimer is the coach who can get the Chargers there.
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