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The Chargers Defensive Line: Week 17

The Chargers lost to the Raiders 24-17 last Sunday. The defensive line had another sub-par day as they were able to record three sacks but were unable to stop the run. The final game of the season is at Kansas City and the Chargers defensive line will have much more to worry about.

Review Vs The Raiders

The Good

Late in the first quarter, the Raiders faced 2nd-and-9 from their own 37 ½-yard line. Melvin Ingram and Jerry Tillery recorded the sack to give the Raiders a third-and-long situation.

Early in the second quarter, the Raiders faced 1st-and-10 from their own 41-yard line. Ingram sacked Carr for a loss to end the play.

In the middle of the second quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-4 from their own 24-yard line. Joey Bosa sacked Carr to end the drive.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, the Raiders faced 3rd-and-2 from the Chargers 27-yard line. Carr pitched the ball to running back DeAndre Washington who was then stuffed for no gain.

The Bad

Early in the first quarter, the Raiders faced 1st-and-10 from their own 29-yard line. The Chargers’ entire defensive line bit on a fake handoff to the running back and Derek Carr threw a short pass to tight end, Darren Waller, for the first down.

Late in the second quarter, the Raiders faced 2nd-and-3 from the Chargers 25-yard line. Carr was sandwiched between Bosa and Ingram yet was able to slither away and complete the pass for the first down.

In the middle of the third quarter, the Raiders faced 2nd-and-5 from the Chargers 22-yard line. The Raiders elected to give running back Jalen Richard the ball and he delivered a first down up the middle.

A few plays later, the Raiders faced 1st-and-Goal from the 6-yard line. Washington powered his way up the middle for the touchdown.

Late in the third quarter, the Raiders faced 2nd-and-6 from their own 27-yard line. Carr drew the Chargers’ defensive line into a screen pass and dumped the ball to a completely uncovered Washington. The running back converted the first down.

The Ugly

In the middle of the first quarter, the Raiders faced 2nd-and-11 from their own 14-yard line. Most of the Chargers’ defensive line was caught at the line of scrimmage and never came close to penetrating the offensive line as Carr completed the pass to Tyrell Williams for the first down. Bosa was the only Charger within an arm’s length of Carr.

Preview Vs The Chiefs

The last time these two teams played, the Chargers held the Chiefs powerful offense to a meager 24 points. The Chiefs’ powerful running game was stifled and quarterback Patrick Mahomes led the team with 59 yards on the ground. The Chiefs’ air attack was muffled to just 182 yards. However, the Chargers could only muster one sack.

The Chiefs have the fourth-best pass protection in the NFL, having allowed just 25 sacks all season. The Chargers have not been consistently dominant in rushing the passer and are tied for 26th in the NFL with 30 sacks.

The Chargers have allowed 1,643 yards on the ground, averaging four yards per carry. The Chiefs usually lethal running attack has had a down year, having only recorded 1,407 yards on four yards per carry.

Final Thoughts

With three sacks, the Chargers showed some promise against the Raiders. However, sacks are just a statistic and do not show the whole picture. The Chargers defensive line gave up too many big plays on critical downs and were undone due to an over eagerness to get the ball. This is why they were constantly being flummoxed by play action and screen passes. This has been a major weakness of this unit all season and it was highlighted against the Raiders.

The Chiefs are much more imaginative in their play calling and will surely exploit this weakness along the Chargers defensive line. If the Chargers can’t clean up their over eagerness to get the ball this week, then it will be a long day in Kansas City.

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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