Heading into Sunday’s match-up against the San Francisco 49ers, the Chargers were desperate for someone to step up and deliver a consistent pass rush that the team could rely on. After head coach Anthony Lynn spoke with the media last week to address the lack of pressure from their front seven, it looked like Gus Bradley and the rest of the defense decided to answer the call.
And they did it in tremendous fashion.
The #Chargers generated the most QB pressures in a game since Week 10 last season (23).— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) October 1, 2018
Melvin Ingram led the way (5) with rookie Derwin James close behind (3) who was the only player to sack Beathard. pic.twitter.com/IBkOt4s1aT
According to Pro Football Focus, the Chargers amassed the most pressures in a game since week 10 of last season. Melvin Ingram looked like his old self as he led the team with five pressures while rookie phenom Derwin James was right behind him with three. James was also the only player to record a sack on Sunday which brings his team-leading total to three.
The #Chargers had to get pressure on C.J. Beathard and the defense stepped up. Top 5 grades vs #49ers:— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) October 1, 2018
1. Melvin Ingram - 83.8
2. Austin Ekeler - 81.8
3. Isaac Rochell - 77.9
4. Brandon Mebane - 76.6
5. Derwin James - 74.8
Looking at PFF’s top grades for Chargers players, it’s a good thing to see names like Isaac Rochell and Brandon Mebane present after it’s been a rough start to the season for both of them. Rochell looked markedly better against the Niners as Gus Bradley utilized him more from a defensive tackle spot in order to create pressure more quickly from the defensive interior.
A name not listed in the top five but still had a rather impactful game was defensive tackle Damion Square who actually started at the “big end” spot in place of the injured Bosa instead of Rochell who held that spot for the first three weeks of the season.
Overall, the team collected 23 total pressures and it was obvious that the ability to get into Beathard’s face played a huge role in the Bolt’s victory Sunday evening.