Do Chargers have the best pass-rushing tandem in the NFL?
By Matt Pagels
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Are Chargers’ Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram the league’s top pass-rushing duo? NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks thinks so.
It’s hard to find top-notch pass rushers in the NFL. It’s even harder to find two top-notch pass-rushers on the same team for that matter.
The Los Angeles Chargers are lucky enough to have two great players on the edge in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram–and NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks believes that duo is the best in the business.
Here’s what Brooks had to say:
“When the Los Angeles Chargers inked outside linebacker Melvin Ingram to a new four-year, $66 million deal, they not only retained the services of an up-and-coming star at the position, but they provided Gus Bradley with the best pass-rushing combination in the league. No disrespect to the Texans’ terrific trio (J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus) or the Giants’ dynamic duo (Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon) or the Seahawks’ explosive triumvirate (Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril and Frank Clark), but those combos lack the explosive potential of the Chargers’ 1-2 punch off the edge.”
According to Brooks, the best pass-rushing combinations feature one speed player and one power player, which he says the Chargers have in Ingram and Bosa.
Ingram and Bosa played exceptionally well in their first season together. They had chemistry and each players’ play level rose because of the other.
Bosa finished with a team-high 10.5 sacks in just 12 games and went on to win the 2016 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Meanwhile, Ingram racked up 18.5 sacks over the last two seasons, including eight last year, which was good for second on the team. According to Pro Football Focus, Bosa and Ingram ranked fifth and sixth overall, respectively, among edge rushers. Both also finished in the top 10 in PFF’s pass-rush productivity.
The Chargers' Joey Bosa found himself ranked among some pretty elite company during his rookie season. pic.twitter.com/kNm58vkE45
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 24, 2017
It’s hard to argue against what Brooks is saying. Ingram, who recently signed a four-year extension with the Chargers, is not only a good pass rusher, but he can defend the run well, too. The versatility is there, as he can rush the passer standing up or play with his hand in the dirt, which bodes well in new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s 4-3 scheme. He’s got the speed and moves to rack up the pressures, but he needs to finish more if he’s going to be considered elite.
As for Bosa, he’s a star in the making. What he displayed in his rookie year was just incredible. Expect him to be even better in Year 2 (unless the Chargers do something to annoy him and he holds out of training camp.. again).
What do you think? Are Ingram and Bosa the best duo? Or does the Texans’ J.J. Watt and Co. or even the Seahawks’ disruptive rushers take the crown?