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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Woodhead's Versatility On Full Display in Win
The sideline presents a tough choice for a running back when the clock is ticking away. But like he's done all season, Danny Woodhead made the tough look simple.
Woodhead faked like he had accepted a four-yard catch and would step out of bounds. The incoming Sean Smith let up just enough -- and that was all Woodhead needed to speed around him and gain eleven more yards.
No play summarized Woodhead's day better. In a game where both offenses exploded in the second half, Woodhead would do whatever it took to keep the Chargers offense moving forward -- through the air, on the ground, on special teams, or in pass protection.
He tallied 25 rushing yards, 45 receiving yards, and 137 kickoff return yards on the day. It was a Danny Woodhead-type of game, even though Woodhead would tell you he "doesn't know what that means."
Down 11 points with three minutes left in the first half, Woodhead's versatility was put to the test. He blocked top pass rusher Justin Houston early in the drive, rushed the ball up the middle later on, and snagged his first touchdown of the day late.
No one runs his patented wheel route better. With 22 seconds left, Woodhead snuck wide out of the backfield, darted up the sideline, and separated from a linebacker in coverage. And with a second Chiefs defender trailing, Woodhead secured an 11-yard catch and made sure to drag both feet in the end zone.
It was the biggest score of the game -- one that let the Chargers seize the lead when they drove back down the field to start the second half. But the Chiefs fought back, and that's when they leaned on Woodhead again.
He delivered on the ground this time. From three yards out, the Chargers lined up in shotgun. Rivers delivered the ball to Woodhead's gut on a draw play and Woodhead circumvented 330-pound nose tackle Dontari Poe for another touchdown.
He even played a role without the ball in his hands. On 3rd-and-2, the Chiefs respected Woodhead enough to put Derrick Johnson on him. Woodhead swung left and Johnson pursued instead of manning the middle of the field. Ladarius Green filled that vacated space with a post over the middle and ran 60 more yards for another score.
"It was great to score," Green said, "but we've got great players here that take the pressure off me."
Woodhead was one of those players, and his best work was saved for last. With less than a minute remaining, he darted around Smith for a 20-yard pickup to spark the Chargers' last drive. A play later, he navigated the sideline and picked up 14 more yards before stepping out of bounds again.
Seconds later, the Bolts scored -- thanks in part to the few Woodhead plays that sparked the drive.
"I'm going to go out there and do everything I can for my team" said Woodhead "Whenever I'm in, we're going to try to execute and put some points on the board."