San Diego Chargers defense showing signs of life?
The San Diego Chargers defense including Atari Bigby and Donald Butler were actually tackling people the other night, with their arms. They were making stops. They were sacking the quarterback. That sounds stupid, I know. That’s what defenses are supposed to do, right?
You have to understand though, that Chargers’ fans have become quite accustomed to watching the Lightning play with what has been apparently designed to be a turnstile defense.
Opposing offenses for years have been having their way with the Chargers’ defense. You could power a small city on the wind created by their many whiffs. I’ve never seen so many guys try to tackle somebody with their face. Their philosophy of – hit him and hope he falls down, damn, he didn’t fall down – has been permeating throughout the locker room since the day Wade Phillips took off for Dallas.
The pass rush has been in no rush whatsoever. What I’m trying to say is, they sucked.
I saw something different against the Oakland Raiders on Monday night. I saw guys getting wrapped up. I saw stops short of the first down marker. I saw sacks, three of ‘em! Most importantly, I saw something that is the benchmark of every good defense I’ve ever seen; Bolts were swarming around the ball. There were three or four people in on pretty much every play, and lots of other guys in the neighborhood. It is a well known fact that when you’ve got more of your players around the ball, things happen.
I’ve been begging for this type of play for quite a while now. The Chargers have spent too much time trying to dazzle people with their fancy offense instead of just punching somebody in the mouth. I hope what I saw was an indication of the way the defense is going to play this year and not an anomaly, because if I’m going to be yelling at my television and kicking over the coffee table (which I’m going to do anyway, oh yeah, it’s happening), I’d much rather it be because of an interception rather than my frustration at their soft play.
Paul Maul is an NFL writer for TPF and can be contacted at PMaul@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com