Chiefs-Chargers: Five Early Thoughts Before Sunday’s Game

3 of 5

Nov 18, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is pressured byKansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe (92) in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


Remember that PFF grade from the slide previous to this one? The one where the Chargers had a -40.2 overall cumulative grade through six weeks? Well most of that is based on what has been an abysmal interior offensive line for the Chargers.

Starting center Nick Hardwick was lost for the season in week one after suffering a neck injury which has forced the Chargers to do some reshuffling. Doug Legursky, who has filled in for Hardwick the last two weeks, has been a nightmare, accumulating a -9.7 overall grade. And things don’t get much better as you move out from center.

Right guard Johnnie Troutman has been a disaster in six games this season in both the pass and run blocking game. He’s allowed 11 quarterback pressures, committed three penalties, and has three games where he’s graded as a -3.6 or worse. Left guard Chad Rinehart hasn’t been much better, racking up 15 quarterback pressures and -9.3 run blocking grade.

What this means is Dontari Poe, one of the best interior linemen in football who is coming off of a bye week, should be a hell raiser for the Chiefs in the middle of San Diego’s offensive line. Poe is tied for second on the team in sacks (3) and stops (12) from his nose tackle position. In fact, his three sacks are second in the NFL amongst all defensive tackles and ranks eighth amongst defensive tackles with nine run stops.

San Diego is going to have their hands full trying to contain Poe in the middle which should mean some quality opportunities should open up for Justin Houston and Tamba Hali to put Phillip Rivers on the ground.