Growing up as the son of a high school football coach, Kellen Moore collected playbooks. He would scour the internet for every single playbook he could find, whether they came from Air Raid systems, run and shoot offenses, or anything else he could find.
With the Chargers trailing 13-3 and facing a 3rd and 17 late in the third quarter, Moore dialed up a designed double pass, with quarterback Justin Herbert targeting Keenan Allen on a crossing route, who then looked to throw back to Austin Ekeler leaking out of the backfield.
Sure it sounds crazy, but it worked:
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh challenged the play, but upon review it was concluded that not only was the second throw backwards — making it a legal play — but that Ekeler indeed picked up the first down after the second “catch.”
Unfortunately for Los Angeles, the drive ended when Herbert was strip-sacked by Baltimore pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney, ending their scoring threat.
With the Chargers fighting for their playoff lives, and head coach Brandon Staley sitting squarely on the proverbial hot seat, do not be surprised if we see more designs like this from Moore and the Chargers offense down the stretch tonight, and the rest of the season.
And given the offensive coordinator’s childhood hobby, do not be surprised if some even cooler designs are in the Chargers’ future.