Sometimes offensive linemen need some love, too.
And on a Chargers roster full of talent, one player up front was recently highlighted by Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated.
Orr combed through each AFC team for the most underrated player on each squad, and went with left guard Matt Feiler for the Bolts.
Only Mike Williams netted the Chargers more yardage versus an average replacement player than Matt Feiler last year. That's right. Feiler was worth roughly an additional 0.69 yards per play in 2021 while Justin Herbert was only worth an additional 0.64. Let's put the former Lampeter-Strasburg (Go Pioneers) and Bloomsburg (Go Huskies) product behind center and see what he can do, right?
We didn't put Feiler on this list because he attended two of my favorite football powerhouses before reaching the NFL, we put him on the list because of games like last year's matchup against the Chiefs. With the unproven Trey Pipkins next to him on a crucial third down, Feiler got the business end of an all-out blitz, having to block as many as three people at once, keeping a host of Chiefs out of Herbert's lap. Two plays later he threw an epic shoulder check on Derick Nnadi on a Herbert touchdown scramble. It seemed that on almost every play, Feiler was doing something clinical, making a little difference on the success of a given play.
Feiler, who turns 30 years old on July 7, is entering his second season with the Chargers.
Feiler played in 46 games (with 40 starts) for the Steelers over five seasons (2016-2020) before joining the Bolts.
He slid into the starting left guard role for the Chargers in 2021, starting 16 games as one of the team's most consistent linemen.
Chargers running back Austin Ekeler had praise for Feiler and left tackle Rashawn Slater during minicamp earlier this month.
"We definitely, I feel like, ran to the left a little bit more because Rashawn [Slater] and Matt [Feiler] were just so dominant," Ekeler said. "Why would you not want to, even if people knew that we would do it? It's like, 'OK, you have to stop it.' We were still averaging four yards per carry out here."
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