The San Diego Chargers defeated the Houston Texans 21-13 on Sunday. While there were many highlight plays and key moments, a closer look at the film shows what you may have missed that allowed the Bolts to get the win. All plays come courtesy of NFL Game Pass, which you can purchase to delve into every single game.
The Situation:First Quarter (5:29); 1st-and-10 from HST 18
What You Saw:Brock Osweiler dropped back in play action and fired a ball deep over the middle to his number one receiver, DeAndre Hopkins. Instead of a 20-yard gain, Casey Hayward twirled in front of Hopkins to bat it incomplete.
What You Missed:Damion Square blowing up the Texans offensive line was equally as impressive as Haywards acrobatic play on the ball. Houston's center Greg Mancz had no answer for Square, who got the start at nose tackle for the injured Brandon Mebane. Square powered him 10 yards into the backfield, knocking running back Lamar Miller backwards as well for good measure.
The Situation:Second Quarter (2:35); 3rd-and-1 from HST 21
What You Saw:Melvin Gordon needed only a yard to move the sticks, but instead burst through the right side of the line for an 18-yard pick up. It was the rusher's longest run of the day.
What You Missed:Head Coach Mike McCoy constantly points out how the running game is more than just the offensive line opening holes, and this play embodies that notion. Gordon burst through a hole generated by a pair of tight ends and a wide receiver. Hunter Henry and Sean McGrath sealed the inside, with McGrath getting just enough of inside linebacker Brian Cushing, while Tyrell Williams sealed off safety Andre Hal to create the lane for Gordon.
The Situation:Fourth Quarter (15:00); 3rd-and-goal from SD 8
What You Saw:The Bolts were protecting a seven point lead and determined to keep Houston out of the end zone. Osweiler fired left to his tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz, but he was met immediately at the two-yard line by Hayward to keep him out of the end zone. The Texans had to settle for a field goal instead of tying the game.
What You Missed:Hayward did a phenomenal job to stand up Fiedorowicz as the tight end held a 6-5, 265-pound advantage over the 5-11, 192-pound cornerback. Equally impressive was the way the Chargers rallied to the ball. Jahleel Addae and Denzel Perryman are two of the most physical players on San Diego's defense. Both returned to action after extended absences, and added their muscle to assist Hayward in protecting the goal line.