I’m finally back from my trip this weekend, I was out in Kentucky and West Virginia and watched the first half of the game on my phone while on a paddleboat river cruise in Louisville. Good times.
Anyway, I’m back now so lets dive into the snap counts from the game.
For the second week in a row, all 5 offensive linemen played 100% of the snaps alongside “gangster” QB Justin Herbert. That's a great trend and I hope they can keep that going. Especially since vs a pretty good Chiefs defense, they only gave up 6 QB hits, a single sack, while the main rusher of the day, Austin Ekeler, was able to average a very healthy 5 YPC on 11 carries.
Speaking of Austin Ekeler, it looks like he’s really getting confidence in his body and is warmed up for the season. He started on more of a pitch count but through 3 weeks his percentage of snaps has gone from 58% in week 1, to 63% last week, to 74% this week. This allowed the Chargers to play more 2 RB sets than they have thus far this season, since the total % of RB snaps was over 100% for the first time, at 102%.
The Chargers also played the TEs at the highest total percentage this week. In week 1 the TEs played a total 134% of the snaps, in week 2 they played 128%, then this week they played at 139% with Jared Cook playing 70% of the snaps after not playing more than 59% in the first two weeks. The “victim” of that shift was rookie WR Josh Palmer who played a season low 15% of the snaps this week.
The big story here is Drue Tranquill earning some of Kenneth Murray’s snaps and doing much more with the time on the field as well. Murray had 51% of the snaps and wound up with 3 tackles. Tranquill played 7 less snaps, 43% of the total defensive snaps, and amassed 8 tackles, a half sack, a TFL and a QB hit. I’d expect Tranquill to continue to see a lot of the field on defense going forward.
The other big change was Tevaughn Campbell getting a ton of playing time. In weeks 1 and 2 he had 3 total snaps. In week 3 vs the vaunted Chiefs passing offense, Campbell played 73 snaps and boy did he perform. With that time on the field he came down with 4 tackles but also had 2 passes defended and forced 2 fumbles, both of which the Chargers recovered. He was a gamebreaker and showed why the coaching staff kept him around despite being buried down the depth chart.
Special teams remained much the same, though there might be a change on the horizon if Tristan Vizcaino continues to miss extra points and field goals.