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.

1DallasTravis Frederick
2PittsburghMaurkice Pouncey
3AtlantaAlex Mack
4OaklandRodney Hudson
5PhiladelphiaJason Kelce
6BuffaloMitch Morse
7SeattleJustin Britt
8Green BayCory Linsley
9JacksonvilleBrandon Linder
10IndianapolisRyan Kelly
11Tampa BayRyan Jensen
12San FranciscoWeston Richburg
13CarolinaMatt Paradis
14New OrleansErik McCoy
15DetroitFrank Ragnow
16ChicagoJames Daniels
17HoustonNick Martin
18ArizonaA.Q. Shipley
19MinnesotaGarrett Bradbury
20ClevelandJC Tretter
21TennesseeBen Jones
22LA RamsBrian Allen
23DenverConnor McGovern
24NY JetsRyan Kalil
25New EnglandTed Karras
26LA ChargersDan Feeney
27WashingtonChase Roullier
28BaltimoreMatt Skura
39NY GiantsJon Halapio
30Kansas CityAustin Reiter
31MiamiDaniel Kilgore
32CincinnatiTrey Hopkins

--Andy Richardson