Chargers win! On Sunday the Los Angeles Chargers managed to win on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. It wouldn’t be a Chargers game if it wasn’t a close game and, man, that came down to the wire. Despite the run-away rushing plays from Kyler Murray and James Conner, and an almost interception from Justin Herbert, things were in the Chargers’ favor this week.
In terms of pass protection, the offensive line looked a tad better than it did against the Chiefs. There were still four sacks on Herbert, two in the first quarter alone, which is only one less than the five he endured last week. But considering Corey Linsley was out for the entire second half with a concussion, things were buttoned up enough that Herbert could get the job done. Let’s take a look at the biggest winners and losers when it came to pass blocking on the offensive line this week.
Though Corey Linsley was out the second half due to a concussion and played fewer snaps than normal, I feel like we can’t have a pass-blocking article without adding him to the winner’s column. He allowed no sacks, no hits, no hurries, and not one quarterback pressure when he was on the field. In fact, this season he’s only allowed two hurries altogether and no other quarterback pressures besides those. He’s definitely q security blanket for Herbert and whenever he’s not in, things get dicey, and it’s difficult not to clench your fists after each snap in anticipation of a sack.
According to PFF, Matt Feiler had his best pass-blocking grade all season with an 84 against the Cardinals. This is the second game in which he has not allowed any quarterback pressures. Considering that he has allowed the second most this season with 27, that’s a feat. Though I won’t go so far as to say that this same level of productivity will last for the rest of the season, it was great to see improvement throughout this game.
Though Jamaree Salyer had the fourth-best pass-blocking grade of all pass-block snaps of the team this week at 72.4, he struggled a bit against some of the heavy hitters of this Arizona defense. Granted, he was never going to be able to contend with J.J. Watt, who had the first sack of the game on Herbert during the Chargers first drive, Salyer continued to struggle against the pass rush even when he wasn’t against Watt.
Myjai Sanders plagued him the whole game and even batted a pass during the second quarter when he got to the opening of the pocket. There was also a moment in the fourth quarter where Zach Allen beat Salyer and Herbert had to rush out of the pocket, all the while being pursued by Allen until he threw to Josh Palmer to keep the drive alive. Salyer was responsible for two of the sacks that occurred, which were the most that have gotten through while he’s been playing this season.
Trey Pipkins also struggled during this game. He had a very low grade for all his pass-blocking snaps at 38. He can definitely be given kudos for coming back out there to fight through an MCL injury in the second half, but overall, this wasn’t his best performance. In the same quarter, he came back in and was beaten by Markus Golden. Herbert had to quickly run out to his right and throw it to Austin Ekeler in the end zone, where the pass was dropped.
Though he wasn’t responsible for any sacks, Pipkins had the most quarterback pressures of the pass blockers with four. He tied with Zion Johnson. And this week and last week marked his lowest pass-blocking grades of the season. Hopefully, he can recover from the injury and come back better for Week 13. And if he doesn’t play this coming game, I hope there’s a better alternative than Storm Norton to fill his role.