The numbers are in and they support the rave reviews the Chargers left to tackle the Rashwan Slater he received for his NFL debut.
Slater delivered a clean stat sheet on Sunday against Star Age rushers Chase Young, Montez Sweat and the rest of the Washington football team’s defensive line.
The rookie didn’t allow a sack, quarterback hit, pressure or haste in 49 near-blocked snaps during the Chargers’ 20-16 win at FedExField.
Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said on Monday, “The guy everyone was thinking about coming into the game is our rookie left tackle and he was excellent at the game.” “When you don’t talk about her a lot, it means she probably performed at a high level and that’s what the film told us.”
Slater’s number on the field was not mentioned by the officials, but he was not forgotten on social media after several notable pundits praised the 2021 No. 13 overall selection.
“Rashavan Slater has been excellent today,” a six-time former team All-Pro dropped tackle for the Cleveland Browns. “She’s so comfortable and fun to watch.”
Slater did more than just protect Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert. He was also productive at run blocking and provided the running lane on the opening drive that ended with Austin Eckler on a 3-yard touchdown run.
Staley said of Slater’s run blocking skills, “He has excellent movement for the position and can really unlock power off the ground.” “He can generate a lot of power from the ground and has very strong hands. …he did a really good job in the first series creating some rhythm and confidence for himself.
Slater wasn’t the only Chargers offensive lineman who was graded well. According to Pro Football Focus, the offensive line allowed a pressure rate of 12%, the lowest in the NFL for Week 1.
Left guard Matt Feeler, right guard Ode Abushi and center Corey Linsley were proficient in their first game with the Chargers. The Giants signed with the team during free agency.
Right tackle Brian Bulaga, the lone returning starter, was unable to finish the game with a back injury and was replaced by Storm Norton. Staley said Bulaga’s situation is day-to-day.
It was an impressive first game for the Chargers’ revised offensive line with four newcomers.
Williams’ new role
Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams was excited when offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said he would play an “X” position in his plan.
“The ball is going to find X,” Williams recalled Monday after Lombardi told him before the season. “I was like, ‘I appreciate you.’ It couldn’t have happened at a better time. I am looking forward to it. I am looking for every opportunity. I am ready for it.”
The “X” role is for physical wideouts to score more goals in the intermediate game (10 to 20 yards throws).
Williams saw that high volume in the opening week with a career-high eight catches on 12 goals for 82 yards and a touchdown.
His longest reception against Washington lasted 20 yards, completing a crucial third-down that extended the game to the ice on the Chargers’ final campaign. Williams’ 3-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was the final game-winning score.
The 6-foot-4, 218-pound playmaker calls the new role a good time as he looks to this Chargers team as a Super Bowl contender. But it also benefits him personally as he is about to become a free agent season after season.
“I think I can play with the ball in my hands,” Williams said. “It doesn’t always have to be 20, 30, 40 yards down the ground. I can catch intermediates and make plays too. That’s what we’re trying to do right now.”
offensive final campaign
Staley said the team was aiming to be aggressive when they got the ball with 6:50 in regulation and stuck to a four-point lead.
Instead of taking the field for a quick score, the Chargers burned the remaining time with four third-down conversions.
“For me, we were going to stay aggressive because we thought they might think we were in four-minute mode,” Staley said. “They (thinking) maybe we are trying to run it a little bit, trying to burn some clock. That was not going to be our point of view. … we wanted to throw the football. ”
Herbert joined wide receiver Keenan Allen to complete an 18-yard run in the middle of the field for the second play of the final drive, but Abushi was called out for illegal use of the hand penalty.
It backed up the chargers and extended the drive. It worked for Staley’s team with a rare seven-minute drill to end the game with the lead and the ball.
Its pronunciation is soul-glorious pic.twitter.com/sazlOhvWQp
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) September 13, 2021