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Chargers Know O-Line Needs Improvement
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Football pundits constantly point out how strong play at the point of attack by the offensive line plays a pivotal role in both the run and pass attack.
For the Chargers, this translates accurately. When Philip Rivers has time, he’s effective. When he’s under pressure the results suffer. The latter is what we’ve seen far too often this season.
“We are used to having success offensively,” said head coach Norv turner. “We’re used to scoring a lot of points and we’re used to moving the ball. And that probably doesn’t fit with where we’re at right now. When we can, we take that aggressive nature and there’s sometimes that we can’t.”
Overall, Turner was impressed with the way Rivers played in the face of constant pressure yesterday despite being sacked four times and hit countless other times.
“I thought that Philip battled awfully well,” said Turner. “I thought that he came back in the second half and made a bunch of plays. He got into a little bit of a rhythm and made plays and competed against the rush. It was a tough day. He got hit, he got banged around and he got harassed. But I thought that he battled through that and made big plays in the second half.”
Even with Rivers gutsy performance, it wasn’t enough to come up with the win. The Bolts offense hinges on the effectiveness of the offensive line, and right now, they are not doing their job well enough. So far this season, the unit has given up 26 sacks, seventh most in the league, and have allowed 41 QB hits. As a result, Turner admitted to being worried about Rivers’ health with the beating he has taken.
“Yeah, I am (concerned for his health),” he said. “I think that in the quarterback position all you have to do is look at two weeks ago and there are three or four guys who are lying on the ground with concussions or separated shoulders or whatever. It’s a very demanding position and some of the things that we do from a game-plan standpoint, the things we’re calling, the way we’re doing things is to try to limit his exposure and still give us a chance to win the game.”
Still, in typical Rivers fashion, he stood by his teammates and pointed out that the unit was successful in the second half and that it showed what they are capable of doing. “Like I’ve always said, I have a great deal of confidence in (the offensive line),” he said. “They fought their tails off and allowed us to really do some good things in the second half. In the first half we didn’t do so well. Not in all areas. A lot of it Denver had to do with. They covered us, they compressed the pocket and I didn’t make any throws to get us any conversions on third down. It was a combination of a lot of things in the first half but the second half we were able to get going a little bit.”
The Chargers have the talent to produce more offensively than they’ve shown thus far. But in order to do that, the offensive has to figure out how to protect their franchise quarterback for an entire game so he can do his job effectively.