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The Chargers Defensive Line: Week 11

The Chargers lost a heart breaker to the Oakland Raiders last Thursday to a score of 26-24. While their three sacks were decent, they could not come up with enough pressure to force Derek Carr into bad throws. Instead, Carr played well completing 21 out of 31 passes and throwing a touchdown pass. The Chargers did hold the Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs to just 71 yards but he won the game for the Raiders on a 20 yard touchdown up the middle. The Chargers need to have a long look in the mirror if they are to figure out where their seemingly lost season is headed.

Review Vs The Raiders

The Good

In the middle of the first quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-8 from the Chargers 17-yard line. Carr was then sacked by Melvin Ingram, ending the drive.

In the middle of the second quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-2 from their own 19-yard line. Jalen Richard tried to power his way to the first down but the Chargers stopped him for no gain to end the drive.

In the middle of the third quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-2 from the Chargers 34-yard line.  DeAndre Washington was stuffed for no gain and the Raiders missed the ensuing field goal attempt.

In the middle of the third quarter, the Raiders faced 1st-and-10 from the Chargers 42-yard line. Carr was then sacked by Ingram.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-5 from the Chargers 44-yard line. Carr was then brought down by Uchenna Nwosu to end the drive.

The Bad

In the middle of the second quarter, the Raiders faced 2nd-and-6 from their own 15-yard line. Jacobs ran to the left before changing direction. The Chargers were able to stop him from gaining the first down but not before he had gained four yards.

Late in the second quarter, the Raiders faced 4th-and-1 from the Chargers 40-yard line. The Raiders gave the ball to their fullback who then plowed for the first down.

Early in the third quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-2 from the Chargers four-yard line. The Chargers’ defensive line did a poor job in rushing the passer and Carr had all the time he needed to throw the pass. Fortunately, the pass was incomplete and the Raiders settled for the field goal.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-1 from the Chargers 19-yard line. Jacobs ran untouched and up the middle for the game-winning touchdown.

Preview Vs The Chiefs

A year ago the Chiefs had one of the most exciting offenses in NFL history. This year, they have hardly slowed down and appear primed for another deep run in the playoffs. Of course, no offense is worth anything without an offensive line and the Chiefs had one of the best in the league.

Left tackle Eric Fisher was the first overall choice in the 2013 NFL Draft. After years of struggling to earn that distinct reputation, he was finally invited to the Pro Bowl following the 2018 season. At 6’7” 315 lbs, he is the perfect size for a left tackle.

Left guard Andrew Wylie had a tougher time reaching the NFL. He went undrafted in 2017 and was cut by three teams that year before finding a home in Kansas City. He is big for a guard, standing 6’6” and weighing 309 lbs.

Center Austin Reiter is a bit of an unknown. Since being drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft he has only started 10 games entering the 2019 season. He is good size, standing 6’3” and weighing 305 lbs.

Right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the first medical doctor to currently play in the NFL. The 2013 J.P. Metras Trophy recipient still plays with plenty of intensity despite his vast intelligence. He is good size, standing 6’5” and weighing 321 lbs.

Right tackle Mitchell Swartz has played well for the Chiefs since signing with the franchise in 2016. He was named first-team All-Pro in 2018. His size is nearly identical to Duvernay-Tardif, standing 6’5” and weighing 320 lbs.

Despite losing quarterback Patrick Mahomes for two weeks with an injury, the Chiefs lead the league in passing yards with 3,139 yards. They keep their quarterbacks upright while allowing just 18 sacks. They have a decent run game which is ranked 21st in the NFL with 908 yards on 4.3 average. Their running game can be pretty explosive as it has recorded nine runs of 20 or more yards. This can prove to be problematic as the Chargers have struggled against the big gain on the ground all season.

Final Thoughts

The Chargers just lost to an archaic offense and are now going up against one of the premier offenses of the past decade. To make matters worse, Mahomes is very good at throwing while on the move which makes taking him down even more difficult. He can make throws from all sorts of unique angles and his skills are complemented with a decent run game. The Chargers have been getting to the quarterback more frequently in recent weeks but they are still struggling at consistently containing the run. If they can’t contain Mahomes then they will be in for a long day.

David Hegler

Author David Hegler

BS in Business Management from Azusa Pacific University. Fanatical 49er fan. Avid fan of all Bay Area sports teams.

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