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CARSON, Calif. — A week ago, defensive end Joey Bosa took over a game against the Chicago Bears and helped deliver the Los Angeles Chargers' first victory in nearly a month. Bosa delivered a tremendous follow-up performance in the Chargers' win over the Green Bay Packers, making a case for Defensive Player of the Year honors in the process.

Facing a Packers offensive line that had allowed just 17 sacks all year, Bosa contributed to two sacks of quarterback Aaron Rodgers and knocked down the two-time MVP four times. Bosa swam inside first-team All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari for his first sack, forcing a three-and-out on the Packers' opening drive. Bosa went around Bakhtiari for his second, meeting up with Ingram at the quarterback to set up a third-and-eternity.

The Bosa-led charge kept Green Bay off the scoreboard until the final minute of the third quarter, the deepest into a game the team had gone scoreless all season. Rodgers entered the fourth quarter with less than 100 passing yards and finished the contest with just 161 and a touchdown pass. As a byproduct, Green Bay scored just 11 points, its lowest total since the season opener and just the second time an opponent held them to less than 21 points all year.

"We tried to make sure that we were sliding protection to him and also get some stuff and try to chip him off the edges," Packers head coach Matt LaFleur says. "Certainly, he was a big factor today."

Bosa has become the X-factor for the Chargers over their past three games. The Pro Bowl defensive end has amassed 5.5 sacks and, according to Pro Football Focus, 21 total pressures during that stretch, each more than triple the next highest mark on the team. Only the Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller has more pressures in that time and no player in the NFL has registered more sacks.

Bosa's production hasn't come in a vacuum. Defensive end Melvin Ingram returned from a hamstring injury two weeks ago, giving the Chargers a dangerous one-two punch that has opened up some options for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley. Bosa has lined up as a defensive end on both sides of the formation as well as spot snaps at linebacker and as an interior pass rusher. Ingram's recovery, along with increased contributions from second-year pro Uchenna Nwosu and rookie Jerry Tillery, has taken some of the burden off Bosa's shoulders.

"Joey Bosa's a problem," left guard Dan Feeney says. "Him and Mel together, they're a dynamic duo, man. It's scary going against them. I feel bad for some tackles that have to go against those two because they are a problem."

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Still, for a defense that rarely blitzes, Bosa's disruption has proved vital.

"We're four-man (pass rushes) no matter what," cornerback Casey Hayward says. "But, it's always good. That's the defense we play. We're not sending five to six every down. We'll send it here and there and hope five guys up front do a great job against their quarterback and that's what we did this week."

Such a defensive approach can swallow an offense if the four-man pass rush gets to the quarterback but can result in game-altering breakdowns when it can't, a gamble Bradley has made throughout his coaching career. However, against a future Hall of Fame signal-caller playing behind theretofore reliable pass protection, Bradley risked the equivalent of hitting on a 20 in blackjack.

"It's not any secret what kind of coverage they're going to play," LaFleur says. "They're going to play three to four under. It's tough to get big plays, to generate big plays. They do such a good job of keeping everything in front of them. They rely on the pass rush and when they're able to do that with a four-man rush and keeping everything in front of you, it's going to be a long day for an offense."

Bradley's faith in Bosa to make his defense work underscores the pass rusher's value. While a few players around the league have delivered comparable play this season, none have done so while carrying the weight of his team's defensive scheme quite like Bosa. Factor in the loss of All-Pro safety Derwin James in training camp and the prolonged absences of key starters like Ingram, Denzel Perryman, and Adrian Phillips, and Bosa's impact on the Chargers becomes undeniable.

If Bosa maintains this level of play during the second half of the season, he will contend for Defensive Player of the Year honors. His teammates don't need to wait that long to place his name at the center of that conversation, however.

"Yeah, right now he definitely is," Ingram says. "For sure."

-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH