How did the first string offense look against the Seahawks? Let's find out.
Formation: Gun Left, TE Offset
The San Diego Chargers Offense opened the game in Gun. Philip Rivers sent Antonio Gates in return motion to see what Seattle is giving them. 13 ran a clear out route, Stevie Johnson had the deep out, Malcom Floyd had the shallow route, and Melvin Gordon had a swing route. The slot corner followed 11 on the out, so 17 wisely got the ball to the running back, releasing on the plant.
+5 for the Chargers offense.
Formation: Trips Right, Closed TE
I'm torn about this play. I like that Melvin Gordon pressed the A Gap. He ran the play as its drawn up. Can't knock that. But you have to have the ability to read what is and what isn't there.
Chris Watt was working in tandem with D.J. Fluker and by Gordon going left it caused the Chargers Center to peel off of the double team and attempt to pick up Seattle LB Bobby Wagner.
My wish is that he hugged the double team and allowed 65 and 76 to continue to wash the 1T. Chargers had the numbers advantage to the right with wide receivers in position to block. Chargers need his instinct to kick in.
Even 17 agrees with me as you can see him pointing right and then walking up to the pile directing Gordon to veer right.
Formation: Gun Left, Trips Right
11 hit the Seattle backer in pursuit with the kind of stiff arm you rewind three times. Woooo, First down Bolts.
1st and 10
Formation: Ace Normal
Chargers called a quick hitting dive play here. The reduced split by Malcom Floyd allowed him to get to the safety and seal him.
This play should've lost two but 39 is not from earth. The play was blew up but he bounced it left, where 80s seal was, and netted 6 yards.
Formation: Gun Ace
I am assuming Reich or Philip saw something they wanted to take advantage of. The receivers and TE aligned in the same formation but backed 17 up.
Chargers didn't get any yards on the draw and there's nothing more to say or see, unless you want to marvel at Seattle's tackling.
Formation: Gun Empty
From the boundary, Danny Woodhead is motioned into the backfield. But what I love is he isn't all the way into the backfield, he is splitting the difference between Antonio Gates and King Dunlap. This is causes the bottom two Seattle defenders to think about their assignments.
At the snap, both defenders run with Woodhead, obviously leaving 85 naked on the curl in the MOF. No one was within 5 yards of the Chargers Tight End. 17 located him quickly and Chargers get a brand new set of downs.
1st and 10
Play: Stretch Right
Right after the first down, Chargers hurry up to the line of scrimmage and run a stretch to the right.
Chris Hairston, playing Left Guard, fires off in a hurry and gets his assignment in his crosshairs before 17 extends his left hand. The man at Right Guard gets to the second level but is either clumsy or got tripped - got 10 that it was the latter - because he stumbled to his assignment and his man made the tackle.
Chargers got positive yardage but could've been 4 instead of 1 had he.....you get the picture.
Formation: Gun Doubles
STACK! Matter of fact, DOUBLE STACK! Now I want Wendy's..
Now, typically I could not care less about defense as I feel #DefenseIsBoring but watching Seattle communicate is really a thing of beauty. Presnap you see the Seattle FS calling the stacks out and right at the snap the Seattle SS gets downhill in a robber position. This disrupting the mesh pattern.
17 picked the matchup he wanted, Ladarius Green on a linebacker, I just wish he had waited. Had he come back to his right, he would've saw Keenan Allen on his sixth jumping jack. He was naked. Sherman broke on the mesh route and Chargers had four Seattle defenders defending two players. Ugh.
Big Sack. Novak time...
Wait! 12 men on the field, Chargers get a new set of downs and you're stuck reading this for five more minutes..
Formation: Gun Right, Trey Left
Play: The Draw
Again, the linebackers can not find 39 behind the Chargers front. He's just too low. Receivers in this play do a superb job of finding work by blocking downfield. Even 85 got in on the action, as he got to the opposite hash to pick up the linebacker. Plus 5 for San Diego.
2nd and 5
Formation: Gun Empty
Chargers hurry up to line of scrimmage to keep Seattle in same personnel. Chargers have a levels concept coming from the Trey side.
17 hits 11 on the cross pattern, nothing fancy here. Plus 4 yards for San Diego. Offense on schedule for what should be an easy convertible first down..
3rd and 1
Chargers again hurry to line of scrimmage to run a quick hitting dive play. The issue here is RG D.J. Fluker.
Presnap, Fluker is the only uncovered OL and by this rule, he is to down block and work with Watt. But, Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright walks up as Rivers is in mid-cadence and this is now Fluker's assignment as he's no longer uncovered.
Fluker proceeded to help Watt and Wright slipped right by him and made the tackle for loss. After getting a gift from the Seahawks' special teams unit, San Diego has to settle for 3.
In the opening drive, Chargers fans got a taste of tempo. They saw empty sets. They saw stacks. They saw an offense playing to its strengths.
Gordon, I believe was in on 4 of the 12 plays on this drive and I love that. Woodhead is clearly better.
This drive and a few other plays later on in the game gave me great optimism that this Chargers offense can be as efficient as it was under Whiz. Looking forward to seeing this offense work vs Detroit in Week 1.