LA Chargers News

Chargers: Who is shining bright and who is burning out?

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs past cornerback Johnathan Joseph #24 of the Houston Texans and runs for a touchdown in the second quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs past cornerback Johnathan Joseph #24 of the Houston Texans and runs for a touchdown in the second quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CA – AUGUST 24: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers follows the block of Dan Feeney #66 of the Los Angeles Chargers while playing the Seattle Seahawks in the first quarter of a pre-season NFL football game at Dignity Health Sports Park on August 24, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA – AUGUST 24: Austin Ekeler #30 of the Los Angeles Chargers follows the block of Dan Feeney #66 of the Los Angeles Chargers while playing the Seattle Seahawks in the first quarter of a pre-season NFL football game at Dignity Health Sports Park on August 24, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Chargers: Run blocking is surprisingly better than expected

I bet you did not expect the offensive line to be mentioned here.

While the offensive line as a whole should not be called a “bright spot,” their run blocking has been significantly better than the low standards that were set forth for this unit ahead of the regular season.

In the play below, the Chargers are in an obvious running situation. Still, the offensive line was able to create a decent hole for Ekeler, who was not touched by the Dolphins defense until he had already crossed the goal line.

get in there, @AustinEkeler! #LACvsMIA | #BoltUp pic.twitter.com/0fZ5Pzw8kA

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 29, 2019

However, impressive run-blocking performances like what was seen in Week 1 have been followed up by sub-par weeks. Despite good running from Ekeler and Justin Jackson, the Chargers are in the middle of the NFL at 14th in team yards per carry average.

This is certainly much better than expectations dictated in the preseason. However, as the weeks have gone on and the Chargers have faced stiffer run-stuffing opponents, the sledding has gotten tougher.

Do not expect the Chargers more-effective-than-expected run blocking to continue unless Russell Okung or Forrest Lamp are moved into the starting offensive line soon.

Verdict: Decline is imminent without new personnel

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