Bosa, Ingram Lead Chargers Relentless Defense Against Chiefs
The Chargers run a base 4-3 defense, with mainly Cover 3, 2 Man, and Man Free on the back end. They don’t have to blitz often because of their incredible defensive ends, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III. Bosa converts his speed to power, and when combined with his relentless motor, he is a handful for any offensive lineman. Ingram is quick off the edge, and used in the Chargers twist game. Ingram also excels when used as an interior rusher because he can use his quickness in a confined area to maneuver past the offensive line.
Thomas Davis Sr. and rookie Drue Tranquill lead the linebackers. The athleticism at the linebacker position is unbelievable, with Davis, Tranquill, and Kyzir White all being converted college safeties.
The secondary has 3 safeties on injured reserve, Derwin James, Nassir Adderley and Adrian Phillips. Roderic Teamer is working his way back from a groin injury and is listed as questionable for the game. Even with all the injuries, this defensive back unit is still talented. Cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. is a 2-time Pro Bowl player. Safety Desmond King II was a first team All-Pro defensive back last season, and safety Rayshawn Jenkins is tied for the team lead in interceptions.
Beating The Defense
Los Angeles has built their defense on speed and athleticism, sacrificing size for speed, especially at the linebacker level. The best way to take advantage of is to run right at them, getting linemen and/or a lead blocker to the second level on the smaller players, clearing big running lanes. The Chiefs can also work the stretch runs, but keep an eye on the cutback when the Chargers over pursue.
Kansas City has to find ways to slow down Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram if they hope to have success in the passing game. Bosa and Ingram both give clues as to what their plan of attack is. When Bosa is slow to get upfield in his pass rush, he is looking to fight his way inside. Ingram will telegraph whether he is rushing off the edge, or twisting back inside. If his weight is forward, he is coming off the edge, but if his weight is on his back foot, he will loop around inside of the defensive tackle. The Chiefs can also use RPO plays to slow down the edge rushers, making them worry about defending the run first.
In the passing game, the Chiefs won’t have to change their normal plan of attack much. The screen game and running backs out of the backfield are good options for quick hitting plays. When Mahomes wants to attack the intermediate area of the field, he can use a bunch formation to loosen up coverage, and occasionally cause a defender to blow his assignment. The Post/Wheel concept is an easy way to hit big chunk plays against Cover 3. Corner Michael Davis tends to bite on the Post, leaving the Wheel wide open. Kansas City can attack Rayshawn Jenkins is a few different ways. When the outside receiver from one side runs a deep Over route, and the slot receiver from the opposite side fakes a Corner route with 2 hard steps outside before breaking to the Post, Jenkins will see the outside break by the Slot receiver and break hard on the Over, leaving the Post route uncovered. The Chiefs can also stretch Jenkins range by running players up the seams.