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RB Danny Woodhead - San Diego Chargers

5-7, 195Born: 1-25-1985College: Chadron StateDrafted: ---

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17 at DEN 43 5 11 0 10 8 51 0 0 6.2

Recent Game Summaries

2015 Week 17 vs DEN (5 / 11 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 51 / 0 rec)

Woodhead didn't do much on the ground, but as usual the NFL's top receiving back this season did the majority of his damage in the passing game. Oddly though, he was taken down short of the first down marker for more often than usual in this game. Charger fans are used to seeing Woodhead taking catches out of the backfield and consistently picking up just enough yardage to keep the chains moving. He's one of the more elusive players in the entire league. But in this one, the Denver defense did a great job of clamping down on him and wrapped him up before he could really do a lot of damage. Late in the game, he saved Philip Rivers from a turnover by grabbling a bobbled snap that had popped straight up in the air. Unfortunately that play ended up costing him a handful of yards since it was recovered in the backfield. On the next play, he caught a short pass but was taken down behind the line of scrimmage, costing himself a few more yards. The quiet afternoon is not an ideal way to end what was a quality season, but he'll return next season with Melvin Gordon to form a formidable 1-2 punch in the San Diego backfield.

2015 Week 16 vs OAK (11 / 55 / 0 rush, 10 / 8 / 53 / 0 rec)

One week after his career game against Miami, Woodhead was back at it in this one. With rookie Melvin Gordon out for the remainder of the season, Woodhead was back as essentially the go-to guy out of the backfield. Despite running behind the same offensive line, Woodhead totaled 55 yards on his 11 rush attempts versus just 17 yards for Donald Brown on his 14 rush attempts. Simple math shows you who the more effective back was, by an overwhelming margin. Woodhead was also one of the team's leading receivers, with a game high eight receptions out of the backfield, each more impressive than the last. He had a 23-yard gain early on, featuring good downfield blocking to convert a 2nd and 15 play. Later in that drive, he got the call from the goal line but was knocked back a bit for a loss on the play. Brown would eventually convert the short yardage score soon after. Woodhead also failed on a short yardage handoff later in the first half near midfield, so the short yardage game wasn't his strong suit in this one. He also left a few yards on the field on a juggling catch late in the first half. He had a chance to get to the edge with a clean reception, but the juggle slowed him down enough for the defender to catch up and drag him down for a minimal gain. In the second half, Woodhead kind of took over as the main weapon for San Diego. His 7-yard gain to open the fourth quarter was San Diego's longest run of the evening up to that point. A crossing route for 21 to beat the blitz, and an 11-yard pickup on 3rd and 11 demonstrated just how valuable he is in picking up chunks of yardage. He just has that uncanny knack for knowing exactly where the first down marker is, and getting to it every time. His final stamp of the game was a huge 27-yard run up the gut. He showed patience in the backfield waiting for the hole to develop, and then was met by Charles Woodson at the second level. Woodhead put a brilliant move on Woodson, leaving him in a heap on the ground as Woodhead burst into the secondary for the big gain. He finished the game with 105 yards from scrimmage, 95 of those coming in the fourth quarter.

2015 Week 15 vs MIA (8 / 10 / 1 rush, 6 / 6 / 50 / 3 rec)

For most of the season's second half, the Chargers have used a curious approach with regard to Woodhead's workload. After some early-season success, the team declined to give him very many touches. In this game, his workload increased dramatically (due in part to the Melvin Gordon injury). Not surprisingly, Woodhead was very effective with the touches he got, scoring four times on fourteen touches. And also not surprisingly, the Chargers played better than they have in a long time. Right from the outset, Woodhead was more involved. He made a nice out and up move down the sideline to score on the game's opening drive. Soon after a long pass play to wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, he scored the first rushing touchdown for San Diego in 289 carries (Week 1). Once Gordon left the game with an injury, Woodhead continued to be the focal point of the offense, especially in the red zone. He snuck into the front corner of the end zone, where Rivers hit him with a bullet pass in a tight window. Woodhead converted the diving play into his third touchdown of the first half. He added a career-high fourth touchdown in the second half on a quick slant over the middle. He got between defenders and lunged into the end zone to cap of his career day.

2015 Week 14 vs KC (3 / 5 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 8 / 0 rec)

Woodhead's role has shrunk in the second half of the season to be more of a pure backup runner than the 1 and 1A scenario he ane rookie Melvin Gordon enjoyed early on. Woodhead got a couple of looks in the passing game, one of which was a terrific one-handed catch that he corraled over his head before cradling it into his body. But it was too little too late, as he couldn't reach the first down marker on a third and long play. His key target came on the game's final play when Rivers looked for him in the back of the end zone. The pass led him perfectly to the only spot on the field that was open, but the ball rolled off Woodhead's arms/hands and fell harmlessly incomplete, ending the game.

2015 Week 13 vs DEN (3 / 10 / 0 rush, 7 / 3 / 24 / 0 rec)

Woodhead's reduced workload continues to be one of the more puzzling aspects of the 2015 season. A player who just a few weeks ago was firmly entrenched in the league's top ten fantasy running backs, now finds himself seeing fewer touches than journeyman Donald Brown. When it was Melvin Gordon seeing more work than Woodhead, it at least made sense in that the Chargers traded up and spent a high draft pick on Gordon and wanted to see a return on that investment. But in a game that San Diego trailed throughout (meaning more pass attempts, Woodhead's specialty), Woodhead saw just six touches as opposed to thirteen for Gordon and even eight for Brown. Obviously with such little activity, it's tough to get much rhythm established. The Chargers were never really close to scoring range, and Woodhead's role appeared to be little more than an afterthought in the gameplan.

2015 Week 12 vs JAX (4 / 8 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 39 / 0 rec)

Despite some very effective work over the season's first half, Woodhead's role in the offense has really dwindled over the last few games. That was the case again in this one, as Melvin Gordon out-touched Woodhead 19-10. As has been the case most of the season, there wasn't much room on the ground for any of the backs to maneuver. Woodhead, who typically does most of his damage in the passing game, struggled a bit there as well. He caught all six of his targets, but they were all from close range and none were really thrown to him in space whatsoever. In fact, his longest gain went for just 11 yards. He did appear to come close to scoring on one reception in particular, diving inside the 5-yard line and being touched down right at the goal line. But San Diego was whistled for a penalty prior to the snap, negating the play.

2015 Week 11 vs KC (6 / 7 / 0 rush, 2 / 1 / 9 / 0 rec)

The pattern for the Chargers for most of this season has been to try and force feed the ball to Melvin Gordon early on. Then, after they fail to establish the run, they take to the air for the entire second half and Woodhead piles up catches and yards in the process. The pattern held form in terms of Gordon's struggles early on, but the part where Woodhead sees lots of action in the second half never came to fruition. He never got going on the ground, and they threw just two passes in his direction (although the one he caught was a crossing route where he came close to picking up a first down). When the soon-to-be-written obituary for the 2015 Charger season is written, one of the most curious aspects of the struggles will be why Woodhead didn't get more work.

2015 Week 9 vs CHI (6 / 33 / 0 rush, 10 / 6 / 78 / 1 rec)

Woodhead continues to be the biggest playmaker in the San Diego offense. He seems to pick up first down yardage every time he touches the ball, and he just plays at a speed in tight spaces like few others ever have. He did have two pretty uncharacteristic drops in this game, but made up for it (at least the first time) by converting the ensuing play anyway. He had an early touchdown when he somehow snuck out of the backfield and got absolutely wide open in the front left corner of the end zone, resulting in Philip Rivers' only touchdown pass of the game. And Woodhead added a big gain on a third and 1 handoff late in the first half. As has been the theme for ost of the season, the Chargers continue to try and involve Melvin Gordon in the gameplan to get him going. And Gordon responds with a meager YPC average and limited skills in the passing game. Meanwhile, on two fewer touches, Woodhead outgained Gordon by 55 yards from scrimmage.

2015 Week 8 vs BAL (3 / 9 / 0 rush, 3 / 2 / 36 / 0 rec)

In a game that was close throughout, Woodhead saw shockingly little action. Starter Melvin Gordon had 23 touches and totaled 61 yards. Even third-string rusher Branden Oliver had six touches that went for 34 yards. Yet Woodhead's five touches resulted in 45 yards, a far more efficient rate than either of the other two. It looks like Woodhead simply has another gear that neither of the other two have in tight spaces; and with the state of the San Diego offensive line and its inability to block anyone, most of these plays occur in tight spaces. With the Chargers driving downfield to try and tie or win the game late in the fourth quarter, Woodhead was the one entrusted to fulfill the running back duties, which is telling. But the team seems pretty intent on giving more touches to the rookie Gordon, even at the expense of the more effective rusher.

2015 Week 7 vs OAK (5 / 26 / 0 rush, 12 / 11 / 75 / 2 rec)

Near the end of the third quarter, Woodhead had only played sparingly and had done less than just about every other skill position guy on San Diego. By the end of the game, he had led the Chargers in receptions, gone over 100 total yards, and scored twice. It was a testament to just how quickly he can pile up the catches and yards, that nearly all of his fantasy production came in the fourth quarter. In fact, he compiled eight receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns on San Diego's final two drives alone. Those sort of numbers in such a small timeframe really illustrate just how quickly he went from a bad game to an incredible one. So while owners don't want to have to rely on garbage time, this Charger team looks like they may have a few more games on the docket where they'll play a significant portion of the game in catch-up mode. Both touchdowns were wide open receptions, one to the right corner and one to the left where there wasn't a Raider defender in sight. A lot of attention was being paid to the middle of the field, allowing Woodhead to slip out to the edges on both occasions. He was fortunate on the second touchdown, because wide receiver Keenan Allen appeared to have scored earlier on the possession. He was flagged for offensive pass interference, which looked to be a bad call. Shortly thereafter, Woodhead got in instead.

2015 Week 6 vs GB (7 / 8 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 63 / 0 rec)

Woodhead didn't get a ton of action in the early going, as Melvin Gordon dominated some of the early rushing work and then the team fell behind by a large margin. But when he did get work, he turned third downs into first downs and moved the chains far better than Gordon did. In this game, Gordon fumbled the ball twice, resulting in a larger share of the workload for both Woodhead and Branden Oliver. One would assume that Gordon will get his regular workload back next week, assuming he can get the fumbling issues under control. As for Woodhead's performance in this one, it's sort of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the Chargers got the ball to the 5-yard line late in the game and had a perfect setup with 1st down and goal to go. And they trusted Woodhead enough to give him two handoffs and one passing target through the air, out of the four plays they ran. But on the other hand, not one of those three plays resulted in a touchdown. So while the activity is nice, the end result left quite a bit to be desired.

2015 Week 5 vs PIT (4 / 10 / 0 rush, 7 / 5 / 66 / 0 rec)

Woodhead was minimally as a runner, but looked explosive on his targets. The Chargers offense didn't spend much time in the red zone, where Woodhead is heavily used and at his most dangerous.

2015 Week 4 vs CLE (8 / 54 / 0 rush, 4 / 4 / 84 / 0 rec)

Woodhead had a monster game, and is right on the precipice of leading the running back committee for San Diego. While Melvin Gordon has more natural running ability, it's tough to deny who the more effective rusher has been so far through the first quarter of the season. Running against the same defense as Gordon and behind the same offensive line as Gordon, Woodhead gained 92 MORE yards from scrimmage on two less touches. Granted, Woodhead's day featured a 61-yard catch and run, but even WITHOUT his biggest play of the day, Woodhead still badly out-produced Gordon. Perhaps most importantly, when the game was on the line late in the fourth quarter, it was Woodhead and not Gordon who saw all of the action. As usual, Woodhead did a terrific job of making defenders miss nearly every time he made a reception or took a handoff out of the backfield. Now it should be noted that part of the positive yardage in this game was due to the Cleveland defense being fooled, as he often had a ton of running room without a defender anywhere near him. In the second half, he took a short dumpoff out of the backfield, followed a block downfield by Dontrelle Inman, and was off to the races for 61 yards. On the eventual game-winning drive, Woodhead had four of the team's six offensive touches, totaling 28 yards in the process (including a 19-yard run up the gut that put the team in field goal range).

2015 Week 3 vs MIN (5 / 11 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 32 / 0 rec)

Woodhead started off the second series of the game, and played on most third down situations. Early on, he had a very nice 22-yard catch and run on a crossing route. The defender attempted to force a fumble from behind, but Woodhead covered up well. Despite the Chargers trailing throughout the afternoon, Woodhead wasn't able to make much of a dent in the stat sheet. That's normally when he does very well, because every play is conceivably a passing down which is Woodhead's specialty. With the Chargers suffering a couple of injuries to offensive lineman, the near future doesn't look very bright for anyone in the San Diego running game.

2015 Week 2 vs CIN (7 / 36 / 0 rush, 6 / 6 / 68 / 0 rec)

Woodhead and Melvin Gordon shared the running back duties much as they did in Week 1. Woodhead played primarily on short yardage and passing downs, while Gordon handled the majority of the other carries. As usual, Woodhead did a tremendous job of squeezing every last yard out of each of his rushes and receptions. He does an outstanding job of reading his blocks and moves exceptionally well in tight spaces. He also constantly shows surprising power by keeping his feet moving and breaking tackles to consistently move the pile forward, and the San Diego rushing attack looks light years ahead of where they were at this point a year ago when both Ryan Mathews and Woodhead were injured and/or struggling.

2015 Week 1 vs DET (12 / 42 / 2 rush, 7 / 4 / 20 / 0 rec)

Woodhead looks fully recovered from last year's leg injury, and actually had 16 touches in this game as opposed to 17 for "starter" Melvin Gordon. Woodhead looks to have a regular role as the pass-catching back as well as getting most goal line duties. He converted two such goal line handoffs - once with a wide open lunge up the middle where he went in untouched, and once with a caravan of blockers escorting him in from a yard out, after a Stevie Johnson reception put the ball down on the 1-yard line. Interestingly, he came off the field for a third down play that put Melvin Gordon into the game.


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