Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA
The biggest concern heading into the 2013 season for the Chargers is the offensive line. The group was awful a year ago and a whole new crop of blockers is being asked to open holes.
Despite J.J. Watt only registering three total tackles and one deflection, San Diego did not do a great job neutralizing the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. Watt should have made plays in or near the backfield for losses on at least five different occasions, but runners were able to run out of his grasp.
The unit did an OK job on pass protection, but was worse on run blocking.
Rivers was only sacked once, a play with a delayed blitz and pretty good coverage downfield. There were times, such as on Vincent Brown’s touchdown and Cushing’s INT, when blitzers were at Rivers’ feet, but, for the most part, the offensive line performed well in pass protection.
The same could not be said for run blocking.
Running backs averaged 3.2 yards per carry, and most of that was on personal effort. There was not a whole lot of push or aggression on run plays.
Left tackle King Dunlap was very tall in his blocking and failed to sustain his blocks on different occasions early in the contest. Fluker routinely missed his mark and fell on the floor.
Guards Jeromey Clary and Chad Rinehart were decent when pulling and Rinehart was particularly nasty on a run play at the start of the second quarter when Rinehart put a defender on the ground.
Center Nick Hardwick was steady.