On Tuesday, I highlighted four offensive players for the Chargers who could climb up the team’s record book with another productive season in 2023. Today, I’m bringing you four players on the defensive side of the ball.
Let’s dive in.
(All statistics from Pro-Football-Reference.com)
Joey Bosa needs:
Sacks (Career total as of 2023 offseason - 60.5)
- 5.5 to pass Lee Williams for the fourth-most in franchise history
- 7.5 to pass Gary Johnson for third-most in franchise history
- 9.5 to pass Shaun Phillips for second-most in franchise history
Tackles For Loss (76)
- Five to pass Shaun Phillips for the most in franchise history*
*Tackles for loss were not recorded officially Prior to the 80’s which means the career total for the great Leslie O’Neal is not listed on Pro Football Reference
Forced Fumbles (14)
- Five to pass Leslie O’Neal for second-most in franchise history
- Seven to pass Shaun Phillips for the most in franchise history
Despite struggling with injuries at several different times in his career, Bosa is still on track to finish his time with the Chargers amongst the team’s best pass rushers. Injuries likely derailed his chances at catching Leslie O’Neal, but finishing second is still something to hang your hat on.
If Bosa doesn’t end at the top in sacks, he still has a great shot at finishing first in both tackles for loss and forced fumbles. TFLs are a given with even an abysmal season but it’ll take likely another two seasons for him to reach the top for forced fumbles unless he ties the career-high seven he recorded in 2021.
Derwin James needs:
Solo Tackles (237)
- 70 to pass Jahleel Addae for the 12th-most in franchise history
- 75 to pass Vencie Glenn for 11th-most in franchise history
Tackles For Loss (19)
- Four to pass Donnie Edwards and Rodney Harrison for 16th-most in franchise history
- Seven to pass Adrian Dingle for 15th-most in franchise history
- Eight to pass Donald Butler, Denzel Perryman, and Ben Leber for 12th-most in franchise history
Pass Defended (25)
- Four to pass Melvin Ingram for 14th-most in franchise history
- Seven to pass Stephen Cooper for 13th-most in franchise history
We all know how talented and versatile James is for this defense and it should be no surprise he could end up in the top 10 for a handful of statistics. Within the next two to three seasons, he’ll break into the top 10 in solo tackles, tackles for loss, and passes defended.
Michael Davis needs:
Passes Defended (59)
- Eight to pass Casey Hayward for third-most in franchise history
- 12 to pass Eric Weddle for second-most in franchise history
Similar to Austin Ekeler, it’s incredible to see a former undrafted player with a strong chance of finishing amongst the team’s best in at least one category or another. For Davis, he only needs another strong season to find himself second in team history in regards to passes defended, behind only Quentin Jammer.
Asante Samuel Jr. needs:
Passes defended (22)
- 10 more to pass Stephen Cooper for 13th-most in franchise history
- 12 more to pass Junior Seau and Clinton Hart for 11th-most in franchise history
Samuel has only been in the NFL two seasons but he’s hit 11 passes defended in each of those campaigns. That’s a heck of a start and it actually puts him within striking distance of the top 10 in team history should he continue the strong start in that category over his next two seasons.