In making back-to-back trips to the playoffs for the first time since 2000-02, the Las Vegas Raiders will have to navigate the NFL's fourth-hardest rated schedule, according to Pro Football Focus.
That will include several teams that have offensive lines that could prove a worthy challenge for the Raiders' high-end pass rush.
It starts in the AFC West, where the Los Angeles Chargers will be hoping that they finally have built a complete o-line to protect quarterback Justin Herbert.
They have the left side locked down for sure, led by sophomore left tackle Rashawn Slater.
The Chargers' first-round draft choice from last year, Slater was able to step in immediately and play like one of the better tackles in the NFL.
According to Pro Football Focus, he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and was a Second-Team All-Pro, ranking well above average in both pass protection and run blocking.
Slater wasn't alone in making his debut in the Pro Bowl last season, as center Corey Linsley also made the trip.
Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2014, Linsley has usually ranked among the top pivot-men in the NFL ever since.
He broke through in 2020 to have a career season and be named a First-Team All-Pro and was ranked as PFF's top center.
Linsley was then able to parlay that production into signing a five-year, $62.5-million contract with the Chargers as a free agent.
He proceeded to rank as PFF's second-best center in the NFL last season, giving the Chargers two sure things at arguably the two most important positions on the O-line.
There is potential for the Chargers to also have plus-play at both guard spots this season.
Matt Feiler was another free agent pickup last off-season at guard and ended up recording the best PFF rating of his career.
The Chargers will be looking at their first-round selection from this year, Zion Johnson, to fill the other guard spot.
The one obvious weakness that the Chargers could have is at right tackle, where Storm Norton often disappointed.
It's led to the possibility that Feiler could end up taking over that spot, as he played right tackle previously with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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