The Chargers lost a bizarre heartbreaker last week, with a couple of touchdowns overturned in the final minute and then Melvin Gordon's inexcusable fumble. But the story with this offense's struggles lately is the loss of center Mike Pouncey (pictured). It's destroyed this offensive line.
The first four games, with Pouncey in the lineup (and Gordon holding out) the Chargers averaged 104 rushing yards and scored 3 TDs on runs. That's not lights-out production, but it's respectable, particularly for a team going with passing downs back Austin Ekeler as its starter. Charges were 2-2 with narrow losses to teams playing well (Detroit and Houston).
The last three games, with Pouncey hurt (he's on IR), the Chargers have rushed for 35, 32 and 39 yards, with no touchdowns. Abominable. It will probably be ugly in Chicago this week, too (although the Bears haven't been quite as tough against the run the last couple of games). Chargers are likely ill-equipped to take advantage of any weakness.
Los Angeles is using Dan Feeney there, and Feeney had previously played guard in his career (and not at a standout level). Not ideal.
Rankings of NFL centers are below; feel free to let me know if you think I'm too high or low on any one player.
|8||Green Bay||Cory Linsley|
|11||Tampa Bay||Ryan Jensen|
|12||San Francisco||Weston Richburg|
|14||New Orleans||Erik McCoy|
|22||LA Rams||Brian Allen|
|24||NY Jets||Ryan Kalil|
|25||New England||Ted Karras|
|26||LA Chargers||Dan Feeney|
|39||NY Giants||Jon Halapio|
|30||Kansas City||Austin Reiter|