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Top Ten Defensive Performances of 2017: #9 Chris McCain v. DEN

McCain was the third wheel in LA’s menacing pass-rusher tricycle

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

#9.) Week 7 Chris McCain vs. Denver - 4 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles

Chris McCain was a complete unknown going into the 2017 season. Fans knew he was a tall, lanky pass rusher who had spent some time with a few teams prior to joining the Bolts, but that was about it. After making the 53-man roster, he settled into a rotational role behind OLB/DE Melvin Ingram at the LEO position where it didn’t take long for him to start showing why he was worthy of his spot on the team.

There is no question that McCain’s breakout game of the year came against the Denver Broncos in their second contest against the Bolts. This game also happened to be a historic shutout for the Chargers rising defense.

Doing more than his fair share, McCain posted an impressive and efficient stat line that included four tackles, two of them being sacks with both of those causing the Broncos’ Trevor Siemian to cough up the ball. Overall, #40 made the most of his snaps that day and was constantly a handful for Denver’s tackles, including 2017 first-round pick Garret Bolles.

On his first sack, McCain showed the world just how important it is for pass rushers to master “running the hoop” in practice. Lining up at the left defensive end position, he starts in a wide 9 outside of the tight end and takes a loooooong loop around the right tackle. As he begins to win around the edge, Siemian starts to his left but can’t outrun the lengthy EDGE player. The ball is popped free and it’s Chargers ball.

Below you an find the replay for his second sack and forced fumble of the evening.

After the Chargers rescinded their second-round tender on McCain earlier this year, he eventually signed with the Indianapolis Colts in free agency. The loss of McCain leaves a wide open spot and will definitely create some needed competition for the other pass rushers in hopes of being able to play third fiddle to Bosa and Ingram in 2018.