As you know by now, the Chargers lost a devastating game to the Broncos on Monday night. Today I want to highlight a few things that may not have shown up in the box score, but will be crucial for the rest of the season going forward. After going back through all the film, I identified 3 things that went right, and 3 things that went wrong. Since the team no doubt deserves to be commended for some things they did, including having the resolve to fight all the way back from a 24-7 deficit, let's start with the positive.
In a game in which the rest of the offensive line looked shaky at best, Pulley looked great at times. Watch here on the very first play from scrimmage, as Pulley (#73) does a great job of twisting his hips and turning his man to his left, blocking a second defender in the process while sealing off a gap with his body that allows Melvin Gordon to break his explosive 21 yard run. Although Gordon didn't get much on the ground in th…
I and others have been beating the drum for it all season, and on Sunday Hunter Henry was finally fully utilized and made a part of the game plan. He played a season high 83% of the offensive snaps and caught five balls for 90 yards on seven targets. His snaps have risen each week of the season going from 39% in week one to 56%, 56%, 61%, 75%, and finally now 83% the past five weeks. Anthony Lynn is finally coming around and doing what's best for the team by reducing Antonio Gates' role and increasing Henry's.
Henry is a dynamic playmaker, and one of the most efficient tight ends in the league. Tight end is a notoriously difficult position to adjust to at the NFL level and as such tight ends usually barely do anything their first year in the league. That wasn't the case for Henry as a rookie who, while splitting snaps with Gates, still had an amazing season. He caught eight touchdowns and had the sixth most yards per target of any tight end in the league with 9.01 YPT.
When Austin Ekeler stepped onto the turf at Folsom field for the Pro Day on Colorado University's campus, he knew he faced long odds. There as part of a group of ultra-small school players generously allowed by the university to work out for NFL talent evaluators after the CU players had finished their workouts, many scouts had already left by the time he took the field.
Ekeler would go on to impress the handful of scouts who remained with his impressive athleticism and measurables, earning himself an invite to Chargers camp as a priority UDFA. Last week, Ekeler defied all odds and made the 53-man roster ahead of more established veterans like Andre Williams and Kenjon Barner, who were cut. A great read on Ekeler and his unlikely journey from Western State Colorado to the NFL can be found here.
On to the film breakdown. Today, we'll be taking a look at Ekeler's performance in the 4th and final preseason game against the 49ers in which he received extended run. It has to b…