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2022 Chargers Defensive Expectations: Part 2

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This is the second in this series of posts. Here is the first one: What to expect from the 2022 Chargers Defense?

I am more optimistic about this Chargers team than I can remember being in years... well, okay, since the 2019 offseason, following the unexpected 13-5 season in 2018 behind El Capitan, my favorite player of all time.

Anyway, I decided it was a good time look a bit deeper at the 2022 defense. First, let's get this out of the way...

How Bad was the 2021 Chargers Defense?

I went into a fair amount of detail on this in my previous post, so go there for details. This was my conclusion:

Overall, that is a lot of data that tells us what we already knew -- the 2021 Chargers defense was bad… very bad. There is no other way to view it.

Does It Matter?

In a league that has morphed into one ruled by offense over the past 40+ years, how much does defense really matter? Short answer: it matters... a lot. Despite what some would have you believe.

I covered this in my previous post, and won't repeat it here, other than this quote:

Last year's Rams notwithstanding, and as good as the offenses were for these championship teams, this shows that most Super Bowl winning teams over the past decade had really strong defenses, particularly in points allowed.

And it goes beyond what championship team defenses tend to look like. Consider that with 4 games remaining last season, the Chargers were 8-5, only to finish with these 4 game outcomes:

  • 28-34 OT loss at home vs. KC
  • 29-41 loss at then 3-11 HOU
  • 34-13 win at home vs. DEN
  • 32-35 OT loss at LV

The Chargers controlled their own destiny to make the playoffs, but proceeded to lose 3 of those 4 games, despite the fact that the Chargers scored 28, 29, and 32 points in those losses. The defense allowed 110 points in the 3 losses combined… more than 36 ppg. They allowed at least 34 points in every one of those losses.