One of the biggest storylines heading into the Chargers’ season opener against the Washington Football Team was the spotlight being put on the matchup of rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater and reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year, Chase Young. Both met two years ago in the 2019 contest between Northwestern and Ohio State and we all know by now how that went.
In their rematch, it’s hard not to say that Slater got the best of Young once again.
According to Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema, Slater posted the second-highest overall grade for a rookie offensive lineman in week one with a 73.5. His 79.9 pass block grade was also second, behind only Detroit’s Penei Sewell (first in both).
The icing on the cake? Slater allowed zero pressures against arguably one of the best defensive lines in the entire league.
Chargers LT Rashawn Slater was awesome in his debut. Per @PFF, Slater vs. rookie OL:— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) September 13, 2021
2nd highest overall grade (73.5)
2nd highest pass block grade (79.9)
2nd most snaps (81)
For 53 of those 81 snaps, he was staring at Chase Young in front of him pre-snap. Zero pressures allowed
Chargers fan or not, Slater’s play caught the eye of many analysts and offensive line aficionados. Geoff Schwartz, former Giants tackle and brother of former Kansas City tackle Mitchell Schwartz, gushed about Slater’s play throughout Sunday’s early slate.
The Chargers drafted a future All Pro LT in Rashawn Slater. I’m in awe watching him play his first NFL game against the WFT DL. Slater didn’t even play football last season. His technique will only improve. @rdsl8r! pic.twitter.com/j5yKZyZRfA— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 13, 2021
In the end, Slater and the rest of the offensive line absolutely crushed their first test together as a unit. According to PFF’s Austin Gayle, the Chargers allowed the lowest pressure rate in the week one at 12 percent. Seriously, when was the last time a regular week came and went and the Chargers’ offensive line was tops in any category or stat?
Again, this was their first real game action playing together while also facing an extremely talented defensive line filled with former first-round picks. Does this solidify the groups status as “good?” It may be early, but something tells me there’s something special brewing in in L.A.
No offense allowed a lower pressure rate (12%) than the Chargers in Week 1.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) September 13, 2021
And they did it against arguably the best defensive line in the NFL.