Chargers RB Andre Williams shows promise in finale

SAN DIEGO -- Claimed off the waiver wire after being released by the New York Giants during final roster cuts in September, running back Andre Williams finally got an opportunity to show what he could do for the San Diego Chargers in a season-ending loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Turns out, Williams is an effective runner in between the tackles. The Boston College product finished with 87 rushing yards on 18 carries, averaging a robust 4.8 yards per carry.

“I did alright, but I wanted to do better,” Williams said. “I ran the ball well sometimes. I wanted to make a catch there where I didn’t make a catch. It was decent. It was cool, and it was fun.”

His performance brings into question why the Chargers didn’t promote him from the practice squad to the active roster and use him sooner, particularly with second-year pro Melvin Gordon shouldering most of the running load this season with Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver out for the year.

The Chargers could have used Williams on early downs during the second half of the season to spell Gordon, perhaps avoiding the Wisconsin product suffering a hip strain and knee sprain in a Week 14 contest against the Carolina Panthers, which ended his season.

“Any time I get to touch the football, I have a great time,” Williams said. “We played a division opponent that I was able to see earlier in the year, and that helped me out a little bit.

“But just to get out there and be able to have the experience of playing in a game this season was just a blessing.”

Here’s a closer look at the snap counts for the 2016 season for the Chargers, provided by ESPN Stats & Information:

OFFENSE (Based on 1,013 snaps)

QuarterbackPhilip Rivers 1,008, Kellen Clemens 5.

Running back – Melvin Gordon 622, Kenneth Farrow 183, Derek Watt 130, Ronnie Hillman 75, Danny Woodhead 53, Dexter McCluster 38, Andre Williams 26.

Wide receiverDontrelle Inman 912, Tyrell Williams 851, Travis Benjamin 527, Griff Whalen 118, Isaiah Burse 45, Keenan Allen 26, Geremy Davis 22, Jeremy Butler 17.

Tight endAntonio Gates 554, Hunter Henry 546, Sean McGrath, Asante Cleveland 10.

Offensive lineMatt Slauson 970, D.J. Fluker 946, Joe Barksdale 918, Orlando Franklin 872, King Dunlap 732, Chris Hairston, Spencer Pulley 208, Kenny Wiggins 129, Tyreek Burwell 15.

Offensive analysis – The Chargers turned it over a league-high 35 times this season. ... The Chargers ran 271 plays with two tight ends in the game this season, tied for ninth in the NFL. ... Henry’s eight TDs were tied for the most by a tight end on the season and were the ninth-most in the NFL. ... Gordon’s 1,416 yards from scrimmage were No. 10 in the NFL.

DEFENSE (Based on 1,025 snaps)

LineCorey Liuget 779, Joey Bosa 538, Tenny Palepoi 360, Damion Square 350, Brandon Mebane 327, Darius Philon 260, Caraun Reid 103, Ryan Carrethers 47

Linebacker Melvin Ingram 921, Jatavis Brown 577, Kyle Emanuel 526, Denzel Perryman 459, Korey Toomer 457, Jeremiah Attaochu 168, Manti Te'o 138, Tourek Williams 136, Joshua Perry 110, Chris Landrum 83, Nick Dzubnar 40, Deon King 10.

SecondaryDwight Lowery 961, Casey Hayward 947, Adrian Phillips 515, Jahleel Addae 490, Craig Mager 389, Trevor Williams 368, Brandon Flowers 339, Jason Verrett 260, Dexter McCoil 241, Steve Williams 207, Trovon Reed 116, Darrell Stuckey 28, Pierre Desir 22, Robert McClain 14.

Defensive analysis – Brown led the Chargers in tackles with 79. ... Hayward finished with a league-best seven interceptions, tied for seventh in franchise history for a single season. San Diego’s 18 interceptions were tied for first in the NFL. ... After giving up nearly five yards per rush last season, San Diego’s defense allowed just 3.82 yard per rush, No. 7 in the NFL. ... Addae’s 90-yard interception return for a TD against the Kansas City Chiefs was the seventh-longest in franchise history.