The end of the Schottenheimer era?

Marty Schottenheimer moved to 5-13 in the postseason and his next move may be out of Murphy Canyon.

The San Diego Chargers had the ball inside of Patriots' territory ten times and scored three times.

An unnecessary roughness penalty on Drayton Florence led directly to a field goal.

"The personal foul penalties were very disappointing," Schottenheimer said. "You put your own personal feelings ahead of the football team."

Three of the four Charger turnovers led to points. One was fourth down anyway. The punt muff is inexcusable. The Marlon McCree fumble was idiotic.

A lot of that falls on the players.

Going for it on fourth-and-11 falls on Schottenheimer. The wind may have been an issue but you have to have faith in your Pro Bowl kicker. Playing him at that juncture could have changed his mindset going into the final kick of the game.

"I thought we had a play we could use to make the yardage," Said Schottenheimer. "The intention was to be very aggressive. I thought we had a play that could get it."

There is, however, a difference between learning from past experiences to be aggressive and being reckless.

Schottenheimer was vilified for being too cautious in Baltimore and he should be torn asunder for blatantly ignoring any sort of conventional wisdom.

For a guy that prides himself on the fundamentals, it was a curious lack of execution that struck a team that led the NFL in scoring.

The use of timeouts, and challenging a play that had no chance of being overturned were inexplicable. That play alone may have cost the Chargers the game.

Schottenheimer takes the loss again. With one year left on his deal and A.J. Smith in a hating relationship with his coach, it seems the axe could fall quickly.

"I have plenty of experience at it," Schottenheimer said of losing in the playoffs. "This group had a hell of a year. I choose to look at this team in a very positive light."

He may be the only one. The expectations for a team winning 14 games weren't to lose its first contest.

"We ran out of time," Schottenheimer so eloquently said. And he may have run out of time too.

Schottenheimer and his 200 wins may have coached their last NFL game.


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