3 most impactful non-stars to the Chargers-Jaguars Wild Card Round outcome

Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts
Los Angeles Chargers v Indianapolis Colts / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
3 of 3

3. Trey Pipkins

You could put any Chargers offensive lineman not named Corey Linsley as the third player on this list and it would make sense. The most important of the four has to be Trey Pipkins, who has had a career year this season and could continue that with a strong playoff performance.

The offensive line was in shambles the last time these two teams met and is in much better shape now. Rashawn Slater is out, but the Chargers have a serviceable option at left tackle in Jamaree Salyer. He has not been perfect and can be beaten with speed (which the Jags have), but he is far better than Storm Norton.

The Chargers are naturally going to give Salyer help on that side of the offensive line, leaving it up to Pipkins to handle his assignments on the right side. That is the first part of this equation as to why Pipkins is so important. The Bolts are already going to be battling on the left side of the line, they don't need the right side to become a turnstile.

More important is Pipkins' impact on the running game. This offense is at its best when it can effectively run the football and the other team has to respect it. The Chargers have not run the ball very well all season but when they have good games the offense is far, far better.

Running behind Zion Johnson and Trey Pipkins is the Chargers' best chance of getting the running game going. Obviously, they are still going to throw the ball a lot, but if they can run in key spots it will make a world of difference.

MUST-READ: Ranking the top 10 Chargers from the regular season

It will give the team easier second downs to convert to first downs, will give them other options to convert third and short and will make them better in the red zone. The run game is important and Pipkins is a very important component of it.