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Defensive Analysis: San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Chargers went into Tampa Bay with yet another must win game. While Philip Rivers did what he could to throw the game away, the defense also struggled. Let's examine their failures.

J. Meric

Another terrible game. I'm very disappointed in how this defense performed Sunday. How disappointed? I'm going straight to the grades.

1st Half 51 52 54 56 58 71 90 91 92 93 94 95 96
Run Average .33 na 0.0 0.0 .50 0.0 .75 0.0 0.0 .25 .50 0.0 0.0
Pass Average na .50 .75 2.0 na .17 0.0 .50 0.0 .25 0.0 0.0 .17

2nd Half 51 52 54 56 58 71 90 91 92 93 94 95 96
Run Average .38 .50 na .25 na .50 na 0.0 .17 .17 .25 .25 .75
Pass Average na 0.0 .33 0.0 na .25 na .33 .38 .38 .00 .17 .50

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GIF Analysis


Great play by Aubrayo Franklin and Corey Liuget, who have worked to make the San Diego Chargers the 2nd best run defense in the NFL.


Eric Weddle is the 6th highest paid Safety in the NFL this season because he makes plays like this.

The Good

Melvin Ingram was great at rushing the QB. He only rushed six times and was blanked just twice. He needs to get more playing time. It doesn't matter that he's merely average against the run. He plays next to Corey Liuget, who's a beast against the run anyway, and if that fails, Weddle is usually on that side. Win. Besides, if he's just average now, imagine how much he'll improve. Even if he didn't, you can rotate him with JJ or English (no). Another point; it's a "passing" league now. It's better to have a good pass rusher who's an average run defender than the other way around.

Takeo Spikes got a lot of playing time, as John mentioned earlier. But he did very well at stopping the run, so good for him. He sucked in coverage but I think the bigger priority was stopping Doug Martin. Besides, the only time Demorrio Williams dropped into coverage he gave up a TD to Tiquan Underwood.

The Bad

Shaun Phillips may be finished. He's been totally ineffective the last 5 games (since the losing streak started) and was awful against the Bucs. No pressure. At all. Vaughn Martin bad. In fact, he's been terrible as a run defender as well. Time to see what English can do in a full time role.

For the first time this year, BFTB, Corey Liuget. Yes he was stout against the run, but offered nothing in terms of pass rush. More times than not, he's a good rusher, but this week is the third time this year he's been ineffective as a pass rusher. I do like his motor and drive though, so keep that up.

Corey Lynch for giving up a TD and almost getting Scifres killed.

Looking ahead

The Broncos live and die through Manning. Here's to hoping Ingram gets to rush more than 6 times. Maybe 20. I'd still like to see Reyes/Thomas replace Martin permanently, and English to sub in for Phillips so he doesn't play nearly every snap. The Chargers need a win when they go to Denver. It doesn't look like they can get it. Either way, go Bolts.