Chargers are lost in the trenches
By Mike Murray
Sunday was a perfect illustration of why the Chargers have started off 0-4.
One team dominated the trenches Sunday and amazingly enough they came away with a victory. And when the game got close the team that could impose its will in the trenches easily sealed the victory away by playing keep away for six-plus minutes.
If you watched the game you would have seen the push the Eagles’ offensive line got on almost every down. They pushed the Chargers back two to three yards consistently. I wonder how good of a back Melvin Gordon would be with that kind of blocking.
And when the Chargers were on offense, you saw the exact opposite. The Eagles’ defensive line was standing up and pushing the Chargers’ offensive line back. The Chargers’ running backs were met in the backfield by Eagles’ defenders on several occasions. And on passing plays Philip Rivers was trying to find a safe place to stand to throw the ball.
How were the Eagles able to dominate the Chargers in the trenches? Was it coaching? Offseason workouts? Dirty play? Voodoo magic? Or could it simply be that the Eagles have invested draft picks and money into their offensive line? Could it simply be that their GM thinks the offensive line is important and has worked hard to build one?
Well crapberries Tazz, that is a splendid hypothesis. Let’s compare the Chargers’ line and the Eagles’ line and see if there is any difference.
Eagles OL:Jason Peters – UDFA by the Bills. Becomes two-time Pro Bowler and the Eagles trade for him.Issac Seumald – 3rd-round pick in 2016Jason Kelce – 6th-round pick. Philly saw something in this guy and now is a two-time Pro Bowler.Brandon Brooks – 3rd-round pick by Houston. Signed with Philly as a free agent.Lane Johnson – 1st-round pick No. 4 overall)
Chargers OL:Russell Okung – 1st-round pick. (No. 6 overall). Signed with the Chargers as a free agent.Matt Slauson – 6th-round pick. Was released by the Bills. Played with the Bears. Free-agent signing.Spencer Pulley – UDFAKenny Wiggins – UDFA by Ravens. Cut twice by 49ers.Joe Barksdale – 3rd-round pick by Oakland. Cut after 1 year. Played 1 year with Rams.Michael SchofieldS – 3rd-round pick. Cut by Broncos.
Do I even need to say anything here? It’s pretty obvious that the Chargers have picked pieces out of other teams’ garbage heaps and tried to assemble an offensive line. Nothing against the guys playing, they are balling their hearts out; but the investment by the front office to bring in real talent to the line has just not been there.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: 3 early takeaways from 2021 minicamp thus far
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing to lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
I wrote an article on this a while back detailing how playoff teams spend 50 percent of their picks on linemen in the first four rounds. At the time I wrote the article, Tom Telesco had invested 16 percent of his picks on linemen in the first four rounds. We are reaping those decisions today and it sucks!
I wish there was an easy solution, but how do you come up with four talented linemen? The problem is you can’t. You have to be diligently investing in your line year after year. You can’t just go with the sexy draft pick. If you do, you end up with a team full of weapons and no way to use them.
Wow, that sounds like the Chargers and it sounds like they are lost in the trenches.