Melvin Ingram repeats Wild Card round performance
Not only was Ingram arguably the best player on the field against the Ravens, but he may also have been the greatest performer of Wild Card weekend.
The 29-year-old pass rusher was an absolute beast against Baltimore. He recorded a team-high seven tackles, with six of them solo. Ingram also sacked Jackson twice, which is impressive given the rookie quarterback’s electric running ability. The Chargers defensive end chipped in a forced fumble and a fumble recovery as well.
Witnessing Ingram pierce through the Ravens’ offensive line and fluster Jackson and Baltimore’s run game became a common sight. The University of South Carolina graduate did this against the NFL’s sixth-ranked offensive line, as they allowed just 33 sacks all regular season.
New England’s offensive line does pose a greater challenge to Ingram, especially in pass protection. The Patriots’ unit wall allowed only 21 sacks in the regular season, the third-best mark in the league. They also allowed just 68 quarterback hits during the 2018 campaign.
However, the Patriots’ offensive line will struggle to contain the Bolts’ pass rush on Sunday, especially Ingram. The seven-year veteran is fresh off one of the greatest performances of his career, and that momentum will carry over to this playoff contest. Furthermore, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady does not possess the athleticism to escape from Ingram if he bursts through the offensive line.
The Chargers’ pass rush is one of the best to clash with New England this season. Ingram is playing at an extremely high level, so expect him to do the same against the Patriots.