Dec 18, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Antwan Barnes (98) smiles after the Chargers beat the Baltimore Ravens 34-14 at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Top 10 Chargers of 2011: #8 Antwan Barnes


The NFL Network is releasing their Top 100 players of 2012 and there just is not enough Chargers action on that list, so the staff at Bolt Beat got together to create a Top 10 Chargers list based off of their performances from last season. 

8. Antwan Barnes

Antwan Barnes was supposed to be nothing more than a situational pass rusher for the Chargers last season.  However due to the injuries/ ineffectiveness of Shaun Phillips and Larry English and because Travis Laboy was, well, Travis Laboy, Barnes had to take on a bigger role than expected.  The 5-year player out of Miami responded with a breakout season, registering a career high 11 sacks with virtually no help.  Despite this, Barnes seemingly did not get the same respect and acknowledgement as players such as Julius Peppers (11 sacks) and Von Miller (11.5 sacks) who had similar sack numbers.

Barnes’ signature game was in the Week 15 Sunday Night game against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens.  In the 34-14 Charger win, Barnes sacked Joe Flacco four times, had two more tackles for loss and two QB hits.

In this “Top 10” exercise I ranked Barnes fifth because I felt he was by far the most reliable player on the Chargers front seven and had it not been for Eric Weddle’s Pro Bowl year, Barnes would have likely been the team’s MVP on defense.

What makes Barnes’ 11 sacks so much more impressive is that no Charger came remotely close to sniffing double digit in sacks.  Quickly, can you tell me who was 2nd on the team in sacks last season?

Waiting…

Still waiting…

I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t Travis Laboy

Give up? Cam freaking Thomas!  Our backup NT!  Four sacks!

So what I’m saying is Barnes played more snaps than he should have last season, had little to no support up front and still tied for 11th in the NFL in sacks.  After looking at this more closely, I’m pissed none of my colleagues at BoltBeat.com had him higher.  What’s the matter with you guys?  Barnes was ripped off here just like he was all last season.

2011 STATS:

Def Interceptions Fumbles Tackles
Year G GS Sk Int PD FF Fmb FR Tkl Ast
2011 15 5 11.0 0 1 2 0 0 32 7

Bolt Beat Top 10 of 2011:

10. Takeo Spikes
9.   Malcom Floyd
8.   Antwan Barnes

BOLT BEAT STAFF RANKING
[table “8” not found /]

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  • KeenanRickless

    8?   ….8?!?!?! ok, thats not bad, I will know if I agree when the list is done and I can see who you rated higher. I’m calling it now….Laboy for President! Laboy 2012!

    • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

       @KeenanRickless im going to vote for Clipboard Jesus… sorry… hahahah

    • @kencaminiti21

       @KeenanRickless
       President of what?  Association of Crappy Linebackers (ACL)?

  • RMainwaring

    I should have ranked him higher actually. Good article.

    • @kencaminiti21

       @RMainwaring
       Thanks.

  • BoogaP

    Phil- Better to be pissed off than pissed on.
     
    Yellow rain is like yellow snow, avoid at all costs.

    • @kencaminiti21

       @BoogaP
       I was just kidding… I’m not really pissed at you guys.

      • BoogaP

         @@kencaminiti21
        lol. I figured.  I just couldn’t help myself.
         
        Good article.
         

  • CindiSpears

    I’m the only one who left him off their list.  Sorry Antwan.  Nicely written Phil.

    • @kencaminiti21

       @CindiSpears
       Thanks.  There’s always next year.

  • http://boltbeat.com/ epadaon

    i am changing my vote, cam thomas needed more love!!! 

    • BoogaP

       @epadaon
       Agreed.

  • MikeTuck

    Barnes if he was that important should have started from the get-go. LaBoy was a personnal fave of manusky and that was a huge mistake. Barnes over ran a few runs and made his errors but more than made up for it. LaBoy was lost in the D. I don’t know the guy but he wasn’t first line level at all. Barnes/ Phillips/ and New Boy Johnson should be in the QB’s face on a regular rate. Phillips drop off was due to dropping back in passing lanes constantly. Manusky’s use of his OLB was horrible. Go LB’s

    • RMainwaring

       @MikeTuck Shaun Phillips was hampered most of the season with an injury and only played 11 games. He’ll be back this year hopefully at full speed.