The San Diego Chargers need better play from their offensive line
The San Diego Chargers need to improve at certain aspects of the game. A major problem for them in 2012 was the offensive line’s inability to protect San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers.
Rivers’ QB rating was 11th, but he was sacked 49 times during the 2012 NFL season. The Jacksonville Jaguars, the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals are the only teams that allowed more sacks in 2012.
San Diego’s offensive line played great in the last five games of the 2011 season after the acquisition of left tackle Jared Gaither. After allowing 28 sacks in 11 games, they allowed two sacks in the last five games.
Gaither suffered with multiple injuries during the 2012 season and missed 12 games. This should not have come as a surprise because Gaither missed five games in 2009 and missed the entire 2010 season with an injury.
San Diego has the 11th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. While choosing an offensive lineman in the first round is not a flashy pick, one would have to believe that San Diego will choose to go this route in April.
The Lighting Bolts ranked 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception in 2012 following a 2011 season in which they ranked sixth and 10th in these categories.
Vincent Jackson led San Diego in receiving yards in 2008, 2009 and 2011. Jackson did not re-sign with San Diego during the off-season last year, so this was a major reason why San Diego struggled.
The offensive line was a reason why San Diego struggled in the receiving game as well because Rivers did not have time to connect with his receivers. This was also a reason why Rivers had 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.
Green Bay’s offensive line ranked second in sacks allowed, but Aaron Rodgers finished with the NFL’s best QB rating to go along with 39 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Rodgers proved that it is possible to succeed with a terrible offensive line, but San Diego should still focus on making improvements whether it is in free agency or in the draft.