That was a rough loss. The last :40 seconds of game clock had to have been one of the weirdest 15 minutes of NFL football. We will all have plenty of time this week to dig into the game but lets dive right into the snap counts.
We will start with the offensive line where Scott Quessenberry wound up seeing the field for 59% of the snaps. This was due to an ankle injury to Forrest Lamp. Lamp was apparently seen on crutches after the game with a boot on his foot and will be getting an MRI today. Fingers crossed it’s good news. The rest of the offensive line saw their full 100% of the snaps with Dan Feeney splitting his time between C and LG due to the Lamp injury.
At WR it was pretty much the same story as the last few weeks with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen getting basically all the snaps. Geremy Davis is still WR3 apparently getting 8 more snaps than Andre Patton and Jason Moore not seeing the field on offense at all.
At RB I was surprised when I saw the numbers. Austin Ekeler actually out snapped Melvin Gordon. I think the reason it didn’t feel like that was once again Gordon’s exclusive usage on the 1st drive, and the fact that they basically forgot Ekeler existed when they hit the red zone. There will be multiple articles this week on Gordon/Ekeler/Coaching I’m sure so I wont go too much into it now but Anthony Lynn can’t continue to ignore what’s happening here, especially after yesterday.
The snap counts at TE are puzzling to me. The coaches said this week they were going to do things to help the line, they also said they were going to do things to help the run game, and even the announcers at the start of the game said that based on what they saw at practice this week, they expected a lot of 2 and even 3 TE sets. That didn’t happen. Hunter Henry played 91% of the offensive snaps, but Virgil Green only played 19% and Lance Kendricks saw the field for 2 snaps. With Henry spending a lot of his time running routes, as evidenced by his 6 catches on 8 targets for 97 yards, they didn’t use TEs to help either the pass or run blocking this week. The TEs combined saw the field for 5 more snaps this week with 2 more offensive plays total for the Chargers. And when you look at the breakdown of those snaps, Henry jumped from 41 snaps last week to 58 snaps this week. Green meanwhile dropped from 23 snaps down to 12. So they actually did the opposite and barely ran any 2 or 3 TE sets, opting to try and keep the defense spread out. That’s something Ill be taking note of on the re-watch.
The usual suspects (Michael Davis, Rayshawn Jenkins, Roderic Teamer) played 100% of the snaps. Casey Hayward would have played 100% but left the field for 5 plays when he was a little banged up. Brandon Facyson made up those 5 plays difference.
Thomas Davis was up over 80% of the snaps again which isn’t ideal, but it was part of a gameplan defensively that sold out to stop the run and force Ryan Tannehill to beat them, which he kind of did. In addition to Davis playing 83% of the snaps, Denzel Perryman played 69% of the snaps, up from 49% last week. Perryman definitely held up his end. He looked good in run defense and lead the team with 8 tackles including a TFL. Unfortunately this strategy meant that Drue Tranquill only saw 33% of the defensive snaps on the field. This definitely showed with how many passes were completed over the middle. One interesting thing was that 6th round pick Emeke Egbule saw a jump this week to 13 snaps. He didn’t see any defensive snaps in weeks 1 through 4, then in week 5 he got 1 snap, in week 6 he got 2, then this week he jumped to double digits. And he turned those 13 snaps into 2 tackles so he was doing something right. He’s a very good athlete and is almost as big as Uchenna Nwosu, with some versatility as a drop LB who also can rush the passer so it’s good to see him getting snaps. Final note with the LBs is Jatavis Brown really put himself in the doghouse with his performance last week as he didn’t get a single defensive snap this week.
With Justin Jones and Brandon Mebane inactive with injuries, it was the Damion Square and Jerry Tillery show this week. Both getting over 70% of the snaps. Square made the most of his extra snaps with 2 tackles, a QB hit, and a PD. Tillery didn’t actually show up on the stat sheet but during the live watch he was making impacts on plays here and there. I think it was good for the 1st round pick to get extended snaps and hope he continues to improve. The other name on the DL that saw his first significant snaps of the season was 7th round pick Cortez Broughton. Heading into the game the rookie had 3 total snaps on the season. He got 18 reps yesterday and had 4 tackles. It was a very good game from him and good to see the young players stepping up when it’s their turn.
At DE Isaac Rochell saw a slight bump in participation as they moved him inside and outside. He was able to get 3 assisted tackles with his increased time. Joey Bosa played 80% of the defensive snaps and was dominant. 6 tackles, 2 sacks, a TFL, 3 QB hits, and a FF. He also really impressed me with his quote after the game and I think despite his quiet demeanor is going to start taking over as a leader on that defense. Uchenna Nwosu had another impressive game. Playing only 62% of the defensive snaps he matched Bosa’s 6 tackles, 2 of them were TFLs, had a QB hit, and had the slap of Tannehill’s arm that forced the pop up INT for Roderic Teamer. I hope Gus Bradley is figuring out ways to have Bosa, Nwosu, AND Melvin Ingram on the field at the same time without eliminating Kyzir White’s snaps or just ignoring that and putting Ingram back in full time and using Nwosu as a rotational guy.
Not much to say here. Same story, different day. Nick Dzubnar had a goose egg in the stats column despite leading the team in ST snaps again. Not really much else to say here other than Derek Watt looked like a missile out there with 2 fantastic tackles.