Skip to main content
Publish date:

A Review of the Chargers Defense After Six Weeks

Chargers defense has been a roller coaster six games into the season.

The Los Angeles Chargers sit at the top of the AFC West at 4-2 tied with the Las Vegas Raiders but have the tiebreaker. It is the bye week for the Chargers, so last time, the offense was reviewed.

It is time to review how the defense did in the first six games of the season.

Here are three players that stood out.

  1. Derwin James

There isn't much to say about what it meant for the team to get Derwin James back after missing the last two seasons. He is their leader. James has been one of the few bright spots on the defense because of his tackling ability and coverage skills. He can take away a defense's best player while also being able to pass rush like an edge rusher. He is a unique playmaker that the defense desperately needed to have back on the field.

2. Kyzir White

Going into training camp and even the beginning season, many believed that Kenneth Murray and Drue Tranquill would be the starters at linebacker. It was actually Murray with Kyzir White. The former safety converted linebacker had a big training camp making plays in both the run and pass game. He has two interceptions this season and has brought a different element to the defense. He plays with passion and can make an impact. White has stepped in 2021, and this feels like the right defense for his skill set.

3. Linval Joseph

Read More

The best free agent signing of 2020 for the Chargers has had another solid season. The defensive tackle has played at a high level. He has been a force in the middle trying to kick the running backs to the edge, or if they do come up, the middle swallows them up. He has one sack on the season. Joseph has been consistent for the defense since signing with the team.

Here are three concerns moving forward.

  1. Run defense

As things stand, the Chargers defense is the worst against the run. They gave up over 150 yards in five of six games this season. They gave up over 400 rushing yards and six touchdowns to the Browns and Ravens. They need to get better, or it is only going to get worse from here. They have faced some good backs so far and face even better ones down the stretch. Teams know they can run the football against the defense. They will get defensive tackle Justin Jones back from injury and linebacker Kenneth Murray, so it will be interesting to see if they can help.

2. Weird cornerback mixture

Since Chris Harris Jr. has returned from injury, the Chargers have been mixing in different cornerbacks. Last week, the team benched Asante Samuel Jr. because they wanted him to cool down because of some bad plays he had during the first quarter of the game. They brought in Tevaughn Campbell to replace him. On Sunday against Baltimore, Michael Davis was taken out in place for Campbell, which was strange because, for months, the staff has said Davis is cornerback one. Staley said after the game that Campbell has earned himself some playing time and that they will have a rotation between Campbell, Davis, and Samuel. It is strange but something to monitor.

3. Edge rusher opposite Bosa

It is concerning that one of the biggest strengths of the Chargers isn't there anymore. Joey Bosa is still a lethal pass rusher and has 3.5 this season. He is getting double and even triple-teamed at times but is not receiving help from the other pass rusher at a consistent level. Kyler Fackrell has two sacks, and Uchenna Nwosu has one, but they aren't consistently disrupting the quarterback. They need to step up after the bye week because a quarterback like Patrick Mahomes will sit back there and torch a defense if given time. The Chargers need more from their pass rushers.