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FILM STUDY: San Diego Chargers Offensive Notes vs. Seattle Seahawks (Preseason)

Breaking down the first-string offense of the San Diego Chargers in their preseason loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

How did the first string offense look against the Seahawks? Let's find out.

First Play
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.

Second Play
Formation: Trips Right, Closed TE
Play: Draw

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.

Third Play
Formation: Gun Left, Trips Right

Chargers have Seattle in man coverage here and 17 just went to work. 85 went on a shallow crossing route and once the ILB committed to the route, 17 got off of that read and located Stevie Johnson on the deeper cross pattern. All money.

11 hit the Seattle backer in pursuit with the kind of stiff arm you rewind three times. Woooo, First down Bolts.

Fourth Play
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.

Fifth Play
Formation: Gun Ace
Play: Draw

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.

Sixth Play
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.

Seventh Play
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 get the picture.

Eighth Play
Formation: Gun Empty
2nd and 9

Chargers with another boundary motion here, this time it's into it. And 17 likes what he sees.

Once 39 motions out, Richard Sherman goes with him and you immediately see 17 checking. Sherman is playing the sticks and Woodhead is at the 34 yard line, that's 11 yards of space.

With that linebacker there, it gets tricky. But 17 knows he has money regardless, he's just waiting on the linebackers move. The Seattle backer doesn't break to the flat, staying with Keenan Allen instead, so it's pitch and catch for 39 and 17. Easy 5 yards for the Chargers Offense.

Note: Keenan Allen ran a stick route here. Had the linebacker broke to the flats towards Danny, it would've been 13 with the 5 yards. Money either way.

Ninth Play
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..

Tenth Play
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.

Eleventh Play
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..

Twelfth Play
Formation: Ace
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.