LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Team grades from a wild OT win in Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Cornerback Chris Harris #25 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after an interception against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chargers defeated the Raiders in overtime 30-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 17: Cornerback Chris Harris #25 of the Los Angeles Chargers celebrates after an interception against the Las Vegas Raiders during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at Allegiant Stadium on December 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Chargers defeated the Raiders in overtime 30-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

LA Chargers offensive line and running backs

The offensive line looked rough for consecutive weeks. Even the Jets made them look pretty bad in a game the Chargers won. Forrest Lamp had been allowing tons of pressures in addition to Dan Feeney and others.

Other than a few breakdowns towards the end of the game, the line was much better tonight. Storm Norton was a concern for me heading into the game, but he did well in place of Bryan Bulaga. Sam Tevi being back helped this line a lot. They simply couldn’t afford to play Trey Pipkins for significant snaps again.

The interior was visually better as well. Lamp opened up quite a few running lanes for Ekeler to burst through. It was impressive for them to click this well on a short week after a bad game vs. Atlanta.

I’m not going to go crazy with praise because the Raiders’ defensive line is atrocious in conjunction with the fact they were missing Clelin Ferrell, but it was a good bounce back game.

I hated most of what the Chargers did in the running game. Austin Ekeler was good as usual. Even with him though, the running decisions on first down were weird. Herbert was cooking it the whole game and they just felt the need to go to the ground too often. Plus, almost half of Ekeler’s yards came on that fourth quarter 27 yard scamper.

Kalen Ballage was fun at first, but his magic pixie dust has worn off. Eight carries for 11 yards is just bad for someone who’s supposed to be a short yardage back. Joshua Kelley had two rushing attempts for eight yards and looked nonexistent for most of the game. Neither one really had any positive impact on the game.

Also perplexing to me — why was Justin Jackson the healthy scratch? I understand he’s been dealing with injuries this season, but Jackson is the second best running back on this team. Ballage is understandable for his size at least, but Kelley shouldn’t be getting playing time over Jackson.

Offensive line: B+

Running backs: D

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