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San Diego Chargers Snap Counts: Week 1 at Kansas City Chiefs

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A breakdown of each player’s playing time and how that factored into a Week 1 loss to the Chiefs

NFL: San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers game against the Chiefs went from good, to bad, then just downright ugly. The game started with feeding Melvin Gordon the rock, something we were all hoping to see (and are looking to see more of) so that “Flash” could keep rolling with his preseason momentum. The Chargers were successful in most facets of the game and were looking like they would stun the crowd Arrowhead and surprise the critics. However, the Chargers did the most Charger thing. They blew a 21 point lead. A breakdown of playing time distribution of each player may help explain what went wrong and why the Chargers let a 21 point lead disappear.

Here is a breakdown of the snaps on offense:

Pos. Name W1 Snaps "% of Total W1"
T King Dunlap 73 100%
T Joe Barksdale 73 100%
QB Philip Rivers 73 100%
C Matt Slauson 73 100%
G Orlando Franklin 72 99%
WR Dontrelle Inman 58 79%
G D.J. Fluker 57 78%
WR Travis Benjamin 55 75%
RB Danny Woodhead 50 68%
TE Antonio Gates 48 66%
WR Tyrell Williams 44 60%
TE Hunter Henry 30 41%
WR Keenan Allen 27 37%
RB Melvin Gordon 23 32%
C Spencer Pulley 17 23%
TE Sean McGrath 16 22%
RB Derek Watt 11 15%
T Chris Hairston 3 4%

The snap counts that stands out to me the most are Melvin Gordon’s and Danny Woodhead’s . Melvin Gordon had 14 carries for 57 yards, with an average of 4.1 yards per carry, and 2 TDs. He was definitely efficient and was running all over the Chiefs before his snaps were handed over to Danny Woodhead. Woodhead did a good job, but it was confusing to see Gordon’s snaps disappear. By the end of the game, Gordon saw 23 snaps to Woodhead’s 50 snaps. The injury to Keenan Allen seemed to derail the offense and take the wind out of the Chargers’ sails. This would have been a great opportunity to keep handing Gordon the rock and continue to punish the Chiefs’ defense, all while killing the clock.

Controlling possession was a key point in this game and right off the bat, we can see the offense (73 snaps) and defense (71 snaps) shared almost the same amount of snaps. Towards the end of the game, the Chargers’ defense looked tired, which was even more evident in overtime. Here is a look at the Chargers’ snap count on defense:

Pos. Name W1 Snaps "% of Total W1"
FS Dwight Lowery 71 100%
CB Brandon Flowers 71 100%
CB Jason Verrett 71 100%
LB Manti Te'o 70 99%
SS Jahleel Addae 67 94%
LB Melvin Ingram 61 86%
DT Corey Liuget 58 82%
CB Casey Hayward 56 79%
DE Darius Philon 35 49%
LB Kyle Emanuel 34 48%
LB Jerry Attaochu 32 45%
LB Denzel Perryman 32 45%
NT Brandon Mebane 31 44%
DB Dexter McCoil 21 30%
DT Tenny Palepoi 19 27%
LB Jatavis Brown 19 27%
DT Caraun Reid 18 25%
LB Tourek Williams 15 21%

The way the defensive line played yesterday was encouraging going forward and it was good to see Brandon Mebane is in good condition, taking almost half of the snaps. However, the safety play yesterday gradually declined and was difficult to watch as the game went on. Dwight Lowery played all of the defensive snaps, which may have to do with how exhausted they looked out there. Lowery’s skill set is a whole different issue, but having him out on every snap certainly did not help.

It will be interesting to see the snap count against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that held their own against the Packers, and how it tells a tale of the Chargers’ outcome.