The first breakdown in pass protection came on the Bolts' third play from scrimmage, a second-and-9. San Diego's linemen were each responsible for a gap, and with no D-lineman attacking Vasquez's gap, he slid inside to double-down on the A-gap. This left RT Jeromey Clary on an island against Pro Bowl DT Darnell Dockett, who sliced into the space vacated by Vasquez to pick up the 6-yard sack.
Although that sack was charged to Clary, Vasquez allowed a sack of his own when DL Bryan Robinson beat him with an inside move with just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter. It should be noted that Robinson is a 13-year vet known for his run-stuffing skills; he has not topped three sacks in a season since 2001.
OG Louis Vasquez
Nonetheless, Vasquez showed enough inexperience to all but knock him from the competition for starting job at right guard, assuming Forney is healthy enough to return in time (he is expected back at practice this week).
What's interesting is the possibility of a new battle at guard -- could fourth-round pick Tyronne Green possibly leapfrog Vasquez in the pecking order?
Green was initially drafted to be the backup center, but the Chargers have since decided to use Scott Mruczkowski as the reserve center, thrusting Green into the mix at guard. Green actually graded out better than Vasquez against the Cardinals, although he had the benefit of playing against second- and third-stringers.
What's clear is that the Chargers will demand better play from their offensive linemen this year. And if the Big Uglies get off to a slow start, one of the rookies will get his opportunity sooner than later.
For more on the offensive line's performance, check out this message board post.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.