After two straight losses marred by poor starts to games, Los Angeles Chargers fans may be right to hit the panic button on playoff chances with how the team looks.
The Chargers have lost their last two games to the Denver Broncos and Pittsburgh Steelers in ways that were worse than the final scores indicated. In the first halves of both games combined, the Chargers were outscored 38-0.
Injuries, offensive line woes, and a poor rushing attack are just a few of the factors afflicting the team at the moment. While there are some reasons to be optimistic, there’s also cause for concern in potentially missing the playoffs.
Offensive line woes
The Chargers’ offensive line has been wrecked over the course of the first six games. Obviously the team is missing Russell Okung, who has said recently that he will be back as soon as Week 7. In all honesty, though, the problems the Chargers face are more than one player.
Mike Pouncey is out for the rest of the year with a neck injury, forcing Dan Feeney to move over to center. As a result, there’s even more pressure than there already was on tackles like Sam Tevi and Trent Scott. Forrest Lamp has been a bright spot, but there’s a lot of work to do on an offensive line that ranks 21st in run blocking and 15th in pass protection, per Football Outsiders.
The offensive line has the potential to get better as the season progresses, with more reps and experience throughout the year for the younger players and the return of Okung. However, it doesn’t seem like something that can be relied on at the moment. For the moment, until there’s real substantial improvement, the offensive line will cause the Chargers to lose more games.