The Los Angeles Chargers went on the road to Landover Maryland to take on the Washington Football Team and came home with a win. With so many Chargers starters being rested in preseason, this was our first real look at what the depth chart actually looks like and who was going to get the bulk of the snaps. Things were mostly as expected, however there were a couple small surprises.
The first number that stands out is that Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley, and Oday Aboushi all managed to play 100% of the offensive snaps. This is fantastic, since most of them only played about 20 snaps in the preseason. This unit performed VERY well, but more on that in future articles.
On the flip side of the OL coin, Bryan Bulaga only managed to play until just after halftime, netting 56% of the 81 offensive snaps. He was replaced by Storm Norton who came in for the remander at RT.
The rotation at RB was pretty extensive, with Austin Ekeler only seeing the field for 58% of the snaps, while Larry Rountree actually saw RB2 snaps getting on the field 27% of the time, which was 13% higher than Justin Jackson’s 14% share of the offensive plays.
The Chargers ran a lot of 3 WR formations as Keenan Allen (83%), Mike Williams (75%), and Jalen Guyton (65%) all played well over half the offensive plays. Rookie Josh Palmer and KJ Hill both played significantly less with 17% and 9% of the snaps respectively. KJ Hill made the most of his playing time though, hauling in all 3 of his targets from his 7 plays on offense.
Kenneth Murray and Derwin James were on the field for all 55 of the team’s defensive plays this week, so it’s not surprising that they led the team in tackles with 10 and 7 respectively.
The team announced earlier in the week that Asante Samuel Jr was the team’s CB2, however Michael Davis actually played more, contributing on 96% of the defensive snaps while ASJ only played 85% of the time.
Uchenna Nwosu got the start opposite Joey Bosa but the team had a very even rotation there, with Nwosu playing 51% of the snaps to Kyler Fackrell’s 49%.
Jerry Tillery played the most out of all the DTs, though that didn’t translate to the stat sheet as he netted a single QB hit and no tackles. Christian Covington and Linval Joseph handled most of the interior DL snaps, though still 16 to 20% less snaps than Tillery, and both had multiple tackles including a TFL each. Justin Jones only played 29% of the game and though Brandon Staley said after the game he was experiencing cramps and had to sit for part of the time.
The biggest surprise on defense however was that not only did Kyzir White start over Drue Tranquill, Tranquill was basically completely written out of the defensive gameplan, netting only 3 snaps out of 55.
Nick Niemann, Mark Webb, and Kemon Hall didn’t see any defensive snaps but all played over 60% of the special teams snaps. Their athleticism is obviously valued there and Niemann especially looked to be flying around, netting a solo special teams tackle.
All in all, week 1 had minimal surprises on the playing time side, outside of Drue Tranquill’s lack of snaps.