Eagle eye view of the enemy: Chargers Defense
30 September 2017 Opinion
Don’t pay any attention to the Chargers 0-3 record. It is not a true reflection of this team’s capabilities. They’ve had a difficult schedule so far facing two division rivals and a playoff team from last year.
Leading into week 4, the Chargers have only allowed 17 of 40 third down conversions and on two 4th down attempts, they denied their opponent. The Chargers have a total of 11 sacks and 1 interception in the first three weeks.
The Chargers are healthy compared to the losses Eagles are combating these days. The only significant losses Chargers are dealing with are to first-round pick WR Mike Williams and a season-ending injury to CB Jason Verrett, who was placed on IR last week. RB Melvin Gordon, although dealing with a knee injury, is expected to start on Sunday.
Although the team only has one interception, Casey Hayward did lead the league in interceptions in the 2016 season. The loss of Verrett will hurt the team but their safety position is also a weakness. During the 2017 offseason the team addressed the secondary by signing a 1-year contract deal with Safety Tre Boston and drafting two DBs: Rayshawn Jenkins (4th round) and Desmond King (5th round). Much like the Eagles, the secondary is not the strength of the Chargers’ defense.
Chargers new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley employs a 4-3 defense in Los Angeles and they have Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. I really shouldn’t need to explain the work cut out for the Eagles OL with that pass rushing duo. Melvin Ingram was just named AFC Defensive player of the month and the team is ranked 2nd in sack totals thus far this season. It is a huge concern that the Eagles offensive line has allowed 11 sacks already this season, especially with the threat the Chargers pose.
The Chargers will be a tough opponent on Sunday. The Eagles success will largely depend on the offensive line. Can they keep Wentz upright and establish a run game between the tackles? If they are able to play as they did last week against the Giants defensive front, I think so.