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Top Ten Defensive Performances of 2017: #1 Melvin Ingram v. KC Wk. 3

Ingram had himself a hat-trick of sacks against Smith and the Chiefs, earning him the #1 spot on my list.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

#1.) Melvin Ingram v. Chiefs - 6 Tackles, 3 Sacks

In a game that became almost unwatchable by the fourth quarter, EDGE rusher Melvin Ingram did just about everything you could ask of him in the 24-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Collecting quarterback pressures like it was Easter Sunday, Ingram was merciless and displayed a motor that was often too much to handle for right tackle Mitchell Schwartz as King Mel racked up a trifecta of sacks on quarterback Alex Smith.

In the middle of the second quarter, on 2nd & 5 with the Chiefs just outside the Bolts’ redzone, Ingram came off the edge from a wide 9-technique. Looking initially like his normal speed rush, Ingram turned speed to power as he met Schwartz four yards back from the line of scrimmage. Smith, feeling the pressure, stepped up in the pocket to avoid pressure but Ingram stabbed through the inside shoulder of the tackle and met Smith in the middle of the scrum, bringing him down for a loss of two yards and his first take-down of the night.

His second sack came on the last play of the third quarter with the Chargers still within one score. On a 3rd & 3 with the Chiefs around midfield, Ingram lined up in a two-point stance on the outside shoulder of the right guard with Joey Bosa to his left outside the tackle. At the snap, Bosa came like a wrecking-ball through the inside shoulder of the tackle, dragging him into the guard. With Bosa occupying both linemen, Ingram looped around the outside untouched to bring down Smith for a big loss of 11 yards.

This sack was arguably the most important of the three as it ended their drive and gave the Chargers the ball back after the intermission down seven points.

Finally, Ingram’s third sack came in the middle of the fourth quarter with the Chiefs attempting to run out the clock. Once again in a wide-9, Smith noticed the 1-on-1 matchup with Schwartz and decided to motion tight end Travis Kelce over to the right in order to give the tackle some help.

Plot twist: It didn’t help.

Even with Ingram almost falling over due to him timing the snap incorrectly, his get-off was still too fast for the athletic Kelce as Ingram simply ran the hoop around the tight end until he found Smith five yards deep in the pocket.

The Chargers eventually went on to give up one more score and ceded their seventh-straight game to Andy Reid and the Chiefs. However, the fans still got to see prime-time Melvin in what amounted to be the most dominant performance by a Charger player from the 2017 season.