With 8 games in the rearview, who has been the top defensive player on the Chargers?
Jamie Hoyle: It’s Joey Bosa. Ingram got off to the hot start and has played extremely well, but Bosa is producing as a run defender (the Chargers best) and a pass rusher. Most impressively, he seems to be getting better by the snap. He also appears to be developing into a vocal and emotional leader of the defense and has routinely sacrificed his numbers to get Melvin shots at the QB. In my opinion, Joey makes the defense work, everyone follows his lead, and that’s why he’s the defensive MVP.
Louis Gorini: We are splitting hairs between Bosa and Ingram, but Bosa has been the Chargers defensive player of the year. Ingram has had the bigger games (the coveted three-sack game), but Bosa has been more consistent and more well rounded especially against the run. Like I said both are deserving and you can make a case for either, I just happened to choose Bosa.
Kyle Posey: I went Ingram MVP, so I'll go Bosa here. He does a good job of freeing guys up. Whether it's Ingram for sacks or doing the dirty work in the run game and taking on double teams so the 2nd level players can finish plays. In the last month, he's really turned it on as a pass rusher and has done a much better job of getting after the quarterback and finishing. He's making life easier for every other defensive player on the team. He's a stud.
Matthew Stanley: I chose Bosa for MVP, so I'm going with Melvin Ingram. Ingram has been extremely effective this year, and his sacks have come at clutch times to end drives. Ingram can get pressure almost at will and has really taken every aspect of his game to the next level. It's always great when a player actually improves further after a big payday.
Jamie Sewell: Trevor Williams. Jason Verrett's injury meant the Chargers should have been in a world of trouble in the secondary, but Trevor Williams is playing at a Verrett-like level. The competition for CB 2 (or 3, in a world with a healthy Jason Verrett) was between guys like Trovon Reed (not on an NFL roster), Craig Mager and Trevor Williams. That should have been a recipe for one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Instead, Williams won the job (he wasn't even a lock to make the roster) and is playing just as well as Pro-Bowler Casey Hayward. If Verrett does come back healthy next year, the Chargers have the best CB trio in the league, and it would let them push Desmond King to safety.
Michael Peterson: Melvin Ingram has my vote for Defensive MVP thus far. He and Bosa have been lights-out thus far, both garnering 8.5 sacks going into the bye week. I give the slight edge to Ingram as the majority of his sacks have come at important moments such as third-downs and during drives in the fourth quarter of close games. As it stands, his impact has been felt throughout the entire first half of the season.
Ruben J. Gonzalez: My Defensive Player of the year will end up being Joey Bosa. He is the model of consistency. By the time this season is over, one should expect him to double his sack total to at least 16. His improvement against the run is what is most promising because its a part of football that if he didn't improve he probably could have gotten a free pass because of his sacking ability. But that is not Bosa's mentality. He's relentless, yet composed and I think those two traits set the tone for the rest of the defense. So valuable is Bosa.
Grant Baden: Melvin Ingram. He has gotten better every year he's played, and he brings confidence to the team every time he's on the field. He constantly makes effort plays and comes up big when the Chargers need him most; I have a tough time imagining where this defense would be without him. He's also the best rapper in football right now.
Jason Michaels: Melvin Ingram gets my nod for Defensive Player of the Year. The easy answer is Joey Bosa, but his flash and fireworks are just that-- the easy answer. Ingram, in his 6th season, has been more explosive when the game absolutely needs him to be. His sack, fumble, and recovery on Eli Manning was the pivotal moment that probably kept the Chargers from going 0-8. They make that play, they win the game. They win the game, they believe they can win more because they have crushed "failure destiny." Football is not fought by the numbers and the stats, but by the hearts and will of the players on the field. Ingram has made the plays that convince the people around him that the game can be won.
Nathan Graber-Lipperman: Joey Bosa is the easy answer...and the right answer. His impact on this defense cannot be understated. His presence frees up the rest of the Bolts' suddenly-scary pass rushers, he's stout in the run game, and he just makes plays. Except for when he's being held, which is pretty much the only times he doesn't make plays.
Who is the Chargers’ first-half Defensive Player of the Year?
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Who do you have the Chargers first-half Defensive Player of the Year?