You've been seeing a lot of the Ace or H (one-back) formation in recent years, especially from the Falcons, Redskins and Rams. Now, from the drawing board of San Diego's Don Coryell, the coach who reintroduced the one-back offense to the NFL in 1980, there's a refinement of the Ace: the three-tight-end offense.
One wide receiver and one back come out of the game and are replaced by larger tight ends. The defense reads this as RUN, although it can't overlook the Chargers' remaining wide receiver (Ace wide receiver?), especially when that wideout's Wes Chandler.
Coryell usually sets two tight ends on the line, splits the third left or right and keeps one back in the back-field. But on some plays (above), the third tight end lines up as the fullback. The quarterback pitches to the tailback, and the tight end leads the tailback out of the backfield and blocks the strong safety.
The Chargers have three excellent tight ends in Kellen Winslow (6'5", 251); Eric Sievers (6'4", 233); and Pete Holohan (6'4", 240). "What makes this formation so revolutionary is that we'll use three tights in normal down-and-distance situations, not just on the goal line," says Charger assistant head coach Ernie Zampese. "We're about the only team that can do this because I don't know anybody in the NFL who has three tight ends they'd want to play all the time."