Lack of Depth at WR Heightens Importance of San Diego Chargers O-Line

By Kenny Gardner
San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers allowed 49 sacks last season which ranked fourth in the NFL, so they have to do a better job of protecting Philip Rivers in 2013 if the team is going to succeed.

San Diego’s front office wanted a left tackle, but they did not trade up in the draft and missed out on Luke Joeckel or Lane Johnson who were selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles.

A major reason why San Diego’s offensive line has to be better in 2013 is due to the team’s lack of depth at wide receiver. San Diego ranked 22nd in receiving yards and 30th in yards per reception in 2012. While San Diego’s receivers could have been better if Rivers was given more time, there is not a number-one option on the team.

The Green Bay Packers allowed 51 sacks, which ranked second in the league. But Aaron Rodgers ranked first in QB rating and second in touchdown passes. While Rodgers proved that it is possible for a QB to succeed with a terrible offensive line, he has a better group of receivers than Rivers.

Rivers ranked ninth in TD passes and 11th in QB rating in 2012, so he had a really good season when one factors in his offensive line with his lack of depth at the WR position.

San Diego’s best receivers are Danario Alexander and Malcom Floyd who are dependable when healthy. Alexander ranked third in the NFL with 17.8 yards per reception and 22nd in receiving yards per game while Floyd led San Diego in receiving yards last season and led the NFL in yards per-reception in 2011. The problem for San Diego depending on them is Floyd’s injury history as well as Alexander’s, who had three knee surgeries in college and one in the pros.

If San Diego’s offensive line plays better in 2013, Rivers could make the receivers look great like he did in 2010 when he led the league in passing yards to go along with 30 touchdown passes.

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