Chargers vs Redskins: Drive of the Game


In Week 14, Los Angeles Chargers made it four-in-a-row with a 30-13 victory over Washington Redskins. I’m here again to talk through and explain the Bolts ‘Drive of the Game’. Chargers had a very successful first half scoring on five out of their six drives (2 TDs, 3 FGs) and that could have been all six if Austin Ekeler had gone down at the end of the first half.

This week I’m going through LA’s second drive, which concluded in their first TD of the day.

1st and 10 at LAC 8
12 Personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs)
The result of the play: 1-yard run.

Chargers start with a simple ‘stretch right’ with Melvin Gordon. Jeff Cumberland is the tight end they decide to run behind, but I probably wouldn’t advise that too often. Neither he, or Joe Barksdale can get any push. Kenny Wiggins makes a solid block on the linebacker but Gordon has no chance of getting that far downfield. He tries to cut it back to the left but gets taken down by a free defensive lineman.

2nd and 10 at LAC 9
12 Personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs)
Result: Incomplete pass.

This time they line Hunter Henry and Cumberland on the left of the line to make a heavy set. This allows Ryan Kerrigan, Washington’s best pass rusher 1v1 on Barksdale. The tackle seems to make a too bigger step to the outside to meet the rusher, allowing a big hole to open between tackle and guard. Kerrigan uses a nice swim move past Barksdale, Rivers must leave the pocket and has to throw it away. Not much success so far.

3rd and 9 at LAC 9
11 Personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs)
Result Completion for 20 yards.

Bolts go ‘empty’ for this 3rd down with ‘trips left’ and Austin Ekeler lined up wide right. Henry is the furthest man inside in the trips, and runs an in-out corner route. The few steps he takes inside gets him up to get separation on the break out. Safety Deshazor Everett is playing inside of Henry, so has no chance to catch up when Henry breaks.

1st and 10 at LAC 29
21 Personnel (2 RBs, 1 TEs, 2 WRs)
Result: Incomplete pass.

Gordon lines up behind Rivers, who’s in pistol. Ekeler motions from wide left all the way over to wide right. Both Spencer Pulley and Dan Feeney get beat by swim moves on the inside. Gordon does an OK job of holding at least one off but Rivers has to still scramble right and throw it away. Russell Okung could have been flagged for a hold on Kerrigan, too.

2nd and 10 at LAC 29
11 Personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs)
Result: Completion for 14 yards. (Holding – Defense – Declined)

It’s a ‘trips right’ this time with Henry in the slot on the left, and that’s who this play is about. With the play clock running out, Rivers shouts “just leave it all to Hunter”, for everyone to hear. A swing route to left by Melvin Gordon gets the linebackers attention which leaves Henry 1v1 on the corner Bashaud Breeland. They both have hands on each other as the tight end runs a short skinny post. As Henry comes out of his break the both release, and Rivers throws a dime where only Henry can get a hold of it. The CB gets flagged for holding in a call that could have gone either way. Nice play.

1 and 10 at LAC 43
11 Personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs)
Result: 5-yard run (Unnecessary Roughness – Defense – Accepted, 15 yards)

Gordon runs an inside zone from the gun. Wiggins pulls out to seal the EDGE rusher with Barksdale driving the interior lineman downfield. This makes Gordon cut it inside, as Pulley makes a good block on the linebacker. Gets taken down after medium gain. Rookie ‘backer Ryan Anderson decides to get into with Wiggins and ends up punching him in the stomach, add 15.

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1st and 10 at WAS 37
12 Personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs)
Result: 4-yard run.

Bolts get some good push from the left side of the line on a ‘stretch left’. Unfortunately, Cumberland can only hold his man up and not drive him back. He gets off the block to catch Gordon from behind.

2nd and 6 at WAS 33
21 Personnel (2 RBs, 1 TEs, 2 WRs)
Result: Completion for 14 yards. (Face mask – Defense – Accepted, 15 yards)

Ken Whisenhunt adds a nice wrinkle in here. Okung motions from left tackle to outside of Barksdale, and Henry slots in for Okung. Gordon stays in to block to, to give Rivers extra protection. He shifts to the right to throw to a wide-open Travis Benjamin. The receiver starts bunched up with Keenan Allen, from there he runs an out route. Benjamin may have got more YAC but corner Josh Norman gets a hold of his grill in the tackle, so Los Angeles get bonus yards anyway.

Chargers WR Keenan Allen turns upfield after making big catch in first half of Washington Redskins vs. Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center, Carson CA on Sunday December 10, 2017.
Photo By Robert Casillas,Daily Breeze/ SCNG
1st and GOAL at WAS 9
12 Personnel (1 RB, 2 TEs, 2 WRs)
Result: 1-yard run.

Another right heavy set on the line with the addition of Cumberland and Henry. That’s where the Chargers aim to run the draw play to but Wiggins isn’t able to get off the double-team quick enough to close of the incoming linebacker on the inside, which forces Gordon outside. Another ‘backer is free, waiting to make the tackle, and does.

2nd and GOAL at WAS 8
11 Personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs)
Result: Completion for an 8-yard touchdown.

Henry is, again, the inside man of a ‘trips left’. Allen route takes the attention of the ‘deep’ safety which gives the Chargers the match-up they want. Henry runs a crossing route against Everett, who can’t stay with him running across the end zone. It’s another dime by Rivers and it seems like an easy touchdown for LA.

10 plays (4 rush, 6 pass), 92 yards, TOP: 4:24

Last week’s drive was all about the brilliance of Keenan Allen, this week? Hunter Henry. When the likes of Allen get double-teamed, it creates lots of great match-up opportunities. Not just for Henry, but the other receivers too and we saw that in full effect on this touchdown play, and Tyrell Williams’ 75-yard score. The Redskins helped out the Bolts a lot on this drive with penalties, and the Chargers may have been lucky a few didn’t get called on them. But, at the end of the day, they couldn’t stop one of the most promising tight ends in the game.

Thomas Herd is a Deputy Editor and Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage.  He covers the Los Angeles Chargers.  Follow him on Twitter @chargers_uk


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