The Bolts’ first offensive snap was a doozy, resulting in a 75-yard touchdown that stunned the Tennessee Titans. It also took the 80,000-plus fans in Wembley by surprise, eliciting massive cheers from a packed house as Tyrell Williams hauled in the deep pass and raced into the end zone.
The play seemingly surprised everyone…except for the Bolts, that is.
You see, QB Coach Shane Steichen told Head Coach Anthony Lynn before the game that the Chargers would score a touchdown on that very play. He summed up the entire offense’s sentiment as they knew if they got the coverage they expected presnap, it would result in a surefire touchdown.
“That's something that we saw, and one of our coaches told me, the first play of the game was going to be a touchdown,” said Lynn. “And it was. So that's preparation…me and the quarterback coach, we get together all the time before the game, and we just go through a lot of things. He looked at that play, and he said, ‘That's going to be a touchdown, Coach.’ He was right. Shane (was right).”
“We knew yesterday when we talked about it that that was going to be the opening call,” Williams added. “And as soon as the ball was snapped I felt the defense shift to where we knew we wanted to get them in. It was just run in after that. It was awesome.”
It’s incredibly rare to score a touchdown on the first possession of the game.
Williams’ TD was the first touchdown on the Chargers’ first offensive play following a kickoff since Nov. 18, 2001 against the Oakland Raiders. Curtis Conway found the end zone on that day with a 67-yard touchdown run on a reverse. The Bolts also scored on their first play from scrimmage on Sept. 9, 2013 when Rivers hit Ryan Mathews in the end zone following an interception.
Now, it’s one thing to draw up a play you are confident in, but another to execute it to perfection.
Thus, it was still on the entire offense to deliver, and they did exactly that.
The offensive line held strong, giving Rivers a ton of time in the pocket. Number 17 rewarded their effort with a perfect rainbow to Williams, and the wideout did the rest as he raced 75 yards to the house.
“We believed it had a good chance, just again from the preparation part,” noted Rivers. “We thought we might have a chance to get a big chunk on that first play, and it just so happened they played the defense we were hoping for. Tyrell did a nice job of going and getting in the end zone.”
“We (got) what we were hoping to get coming into the game,” Williams added. “It came to the perfect coverage and it just opened up perfectly. It was an awesome opportunity to be able to get that, especially to start the game. Once the ball was snapped and (we saw) how the defense adjusted, I felt it. I knew it was going to be up in the air, so after that it was easy just to run in.”