Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram has received praise for his month of dominating on the football field.
Some players slack off after cashing in on free agency. For Chargers’ Melvin Ingram, he took his game to another level.
And the league noticed. Ingram earned AFC Defensive Player of the Month honors for the month of September. According to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams, Ingram is the first Charger to win this award for the month of September since Junior Seau won it back in 2002.
The 28-year-old Ingram has 5.5 sacks through three games, second-best in the NFL, including having a three-sack performance (career-high) against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.
Ingram, who signed a four-year, $64 million deal with $42 million in guarantees, has been an absolute terror. If you’ve watched the Chargers play, you’ll notice that Ingram is constantly in the opposing teams’ backfield, beating offensive linemen with power, speed and a handful of moves and getting pressure on the quarterback. More importantly, he’s finally found a way to finish, especially in important situations where the Chargers need a stop on defense.
Many questioned Ingram’s ability to thrive in a new scheme after playing as an outside linebacker the past five seasons, but he’s quieted the critics as the LEO defensive end in Gus Bradley’s 4-3 scheme. Unlike the past few seasons under former DC John Pagano, Ingram isn’t asked to drop into coverage as much, which gives him more opportunities to do what he does best–getting to the quarterback.
The word “potential” is long gone. The former first-round pick is becoming an elite pass-rusher right before our eyes.