The San Diego Chargers have had a surprisingly good defensive unit this year and everyone that has contributed on that side of the ball deserves recognition. But, with the bye week comes evaluation and it could be a little fun to pick out just who we think has been the most valuable. Please, read through the statistics and breakdowns of the following 5 players and pick who you think the Chargers First Half Defensive MVP is.
#99 / Linebacker / San Diego Chargers
Dec 24, 1982
|2010 - Kevin Burnett||9||5||30||1||2||0||45||7||52|
Burnett came to the Chargers before the 2009 season as one of A.J. Smith's under-the-radar free agent acquisitions. His 2009 season was plagued by injuries, but those who saw him healthy knew the potential. This year he's been able to stay on the field and wow people at times. He's a hard hitter, a sure tackler and wants to get after the QB. This is the breakout season that many envisioned when they saw him in college or in preseason games.
Signature Moments: Pretty much every game has been a signature performance for Burnett, but the one that stands out is the Raiders game where he had 2 sacks and a forced fumble.
#71 / Defensive Tackle / San Diego Chargers
Nov 30, 1979
|2010 - Antonio Garay||9||4||25||0||0||0||24||6||30|
Coming into the season, Garay had big shoes to fill. Well, sort of. In most people's eyes the starting Nose Tackle for the Chargers would be replace the great Jamal Williams. However, Williams didn't play for the Chargers for almost the entire 2009 season, so in essence he had already been replaced. Garay didn't have the best pedigree for taking over that role, but his production this year has silenced all doubters.
Signature Moments: 1 sack and helped the defense hold the Arizona Cardinals to 57 yards rushing. Against Houston he picked up a sack, got tons of penetration and helped slow down Arian Foster at key moments.
#23 / Cornerback / San Diego Chargers
Jun 19, 1979
|2010 - Quentin Jammer||9||0||0||1||0||0||22||2||24|
Old man Jammer. The most experienced player on the entire defense. When things are going well for him you barely notice the guy. He'll keep WRs bottled up and make a couple tackles in the running game. A solid, consistent performance that the Chargers require in order to be one of the top defenses.
Signature Moments: Facing Seattle he saved a TD with an interception in the end zone. Against Arizona he basically shutdown Larry Fitzgerald and had 3 passes defensed.
#95 / Linebacker / San Diego Chargers
May 13, 1981
|2010 - Shaun Phillips||9||7||42||1||31||1||26||4||30|
With Shawne Merriman out of the picture this Shaun is now the face of the LB corps. He still plays on the left side (to the right of the QB), which isn't the premier position for a 3-4 pass rushing LB. Lawrence Taylor, Joey Porter, James Harrison and Shawne Merriman all have been that premier ROLB in the 3-4 and had to face off against the opposing team's Left Tackle. Nevertheless, Shaun Phillips produces from where he's at and that's what really matters.
Signature Moments: 4 sacks and an interception return for a TD against the Arizona Cardinals.
|2010 - Eric Weddle||9||0.5||4||0||0||0||44||8||52|
#32 / Free Safety / San Diego Chargers
Jan 04, 1985
Weddle is the glue that keeps the defense together. Every defense needs one of these guys. He's the last line of defense when things break down. When one or two guys make a mistake, you don't want to turn it into a TD so you need someone like Weddle to make sure its only yards that are given up instead of points. Weddle is also the leader of the secondary and is responsible for calling the coverages that have helped the team stymie opposing pass games.
Signature Moments: Weddle is a pretty consistent performer, but two stand out. Against Jacksonville he combined with Larry English to get a sack and a 8 yard loss on David Garrard. Against the Rams he had to clean up a lot of messes and ended up with 11 solo tackles on the day.