Los Angeles Chargers Tried To Cover Dolphins Star Tyreek Hill With Khalil Mack … On The First Play Of The Game

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Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and the Miami Dolphins absolutely shredded the Los Angeles Chargers defense Sunday. Tagovailoa threw for over 450 yards and Tyreek Hill had over 200 of those yards.

Hill is hard enough to cover with top-tier defensive backs. But having a linebacker try to cover him? That’s a recipe for disaster.

Yet on the very first Miami Dolphins offensive snap, that’s exactly what the Chargers did. Khalil Mack, known for his pass-rushing prowess and not coverage skills, lined up across from Hill.

Mack immediately recognizes that he cannot guard Hill and instead just decides not to cover him at all. Former NFL offensive lineman Bryan Baldinger broke the play down on X (formerly known as Twitter).

This is objectively hilarious.

How did the Chargers possibly end up with Khalil Mack “guarding” Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill??

It’s one thing to have a miscommunication at some point. Or, perhaps, the wrong personnel at some point. But having that happen on THE FIRST PLAY OF THE GAME? Absolutely inexcusable.

Of course, the fault falls on the shoulders of head coach Brandon Staley. As a Brandon Staley stan, it’s getting harder to defend him. Hopefully, he figures it out.

But he needs to have a conversation with defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley. The Chargers struggled to cover Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle all game. Now, that’s going to happen to most teams. There’s no NFL team that boasts the speed at wide receiver that the Miami Dolphins do.

They allow Tua Tagovailoa to have a lot of very easy throws, which is important for someone with limited arm talent.

The Los Angeles Chargers inexplicably put Khalil Mack on Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill on the first play of Sunday's game.
The Los Angeles Chargers inexplicably put Khalil Mack on Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill on the first play of Sunday’s game. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

But if teams are going to try to cover Hill and/or Waddle with linebackers and EDGE rushers? Fogetaboutit.

The Dolphins could replace Tua Tagovailoa with Nathan Peterman and he’d be able to get the ball to those guys with 250-pound defenders trying to keep up.

Back to the drawing board for the Los Angeles Chargers.

For the Dolphins, expect Hill and Waddle to stay open all season. But don’t expect anyone else to try and guard them with linebackers. And especially don’t expect teams to not guard them at all.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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