The San Diego Chargers defeated the Tennessee Titans 43-35 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 (2:54); 3rd-and-1 from TEN 32
What You Saw:DeMarco Murray took the hand off needing only one yard to move the chains, but was quickly met by Corey Liuget who leveled the running back with a powerful hit for a loss of two.
What You Missed:While Liuget beat his man clean, he wasn't the only one as Brandon Mebane quickly penetrated the line of scrimmage. The nose tackle was the first Charger in the backfield as he pushed center Ben Jones back into Murray, who had to cut left into the waiting arms of Liuget.
The Situation:Second Quarter (15:00); 1st-and-10 from TEN 49
What You Saw:Melvin Gordon took the first snap of the second quarter out of shotgun from Philip Rivers and burst through a massive hole in front of him. Cutting left once past the line of scrimmage, he rumbled 43-yards to the Tennessee six yard line, setting up Tyrell Williams' TD on the next snap.
What You Missed:The long run wouldn't have been possible without the lead block of Antonio Gates. Primarily known for his receiving skills, the Bolts had him match up in isolation with Avery Williamson. Gates engulfed the Titans' linebacker at the point of attack, allowing Gordon to cut outside as he was off to the races.
The Situation:Fourth Quarter (6:05); 1st-and-10 from TEN 25
What You Saw:After Josh Lambo's field goal gave San Diego an eight point lead, on first down of the ensuing drive Marcus Mariota faked a handoff to DeMarco Murray and looked to pass. With no one open, he tucked the ball and ran but only managed two yards. The short gain put the Titans' behind the sticks, and two plays later on third down the quarterback forced a pass that Brandon Flowers jumped in front of for a game-changing pick-six.
What You Missed:The important first down play came courtesy of Dwight Lowery. While the rest of the defense flowed with Murray, Lowery didn't fall for the fake as he kept with his assignment of containing Mariota. Cornerback Trevor Williams also stayed with his assignment with blanket coverage on Delanie Walker, eliminating the quarterback's primary target. Even when Mariota faked a pass before taking off, Lowery spun around to bring the QB down for a minimal gain of two.