Will the offensive line protect Philip Rivers better on Sunday?

By Kenny Gardner
San Diego Chargers Offensive Line
Jake Roth-US Presswire

The San Diego Chargers allowed five sacks in the first two games of the 2012 NFL season.  There are only eight teams who have allowed more sacks than San Diego’s offensive line.

San Diego only allowed one sack in a week one win, but they allowed four sacks against the Tennessee Titans in a week two victory.  Tennessee was 31st in team sacks with 28 last year while they are tied for 11th this year with five team sacks.

Jared Gaither missed the first two games of the 2012 season because of a back injury.  After San Diego acquired him last year, the team allowed two sacks in five games.

Gaither participated in one practice during the off-season, left with back spasms, did not play in the preseason and his return is going very slowly.

At the end of the day, winning games is the most important thing which San Diego has done thus far.  However, they are on pace to allow 40 sacks this season which ranked 20th among offensive lines last season.

San Diego should improve when their starting left tackle comes back and they will need him to boost their offensive line because of the teams remaining on their schedule.

San Diego still has to play the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals in weeks 12 and 13.  Baltimore was tied for third last season with 48 team sacks while Cincinnati had 45 team sacks.

Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs won Defensive Player of the Year in 2011 and could be back for Baltimore in time for the week 12 game.

San Diego’s offensive line did a great job of protecting Philip Rivers last year against Baltimore in a 34-14 win, but it would be naive to expect another thrashing like this against Baltimore’s defense.

The Atlanta Falcons are tied for sixth right now with six team sacks, so this could be a test for San Diego’s offensive line on Sunday.

The protection did not bother Rivers on Sunday, but if Gaither is out long term, will the line hold up this season?




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