Improvement at stopping the run
The Chargers have been mediocre at best and downright terrible at worst at stopping the run for several years now. In recent years, general manager Tom Telesco has taken measures to find players to improve this area by bringing in guys like Brandon Mebane and Justin Jones.
The Ravens came in and ran all over them, something they have done against most teams lately, but the Chargers can’t afford to be gashed on the ground in the postseason.
Believe it or not, the Chargers actually rank in the top 10 in the league in run defense, giving up around 107 yards per game on the ground. However, the playoffs are likely to bring around teams like the Ravens, Texans and New England Patriots, all of which rank in the top 10 in running the ball.
That’s how teams will try to get it done in the postseason and the teams that run the ball the best in combination with playing the best defense usually raise the trophy at the end.
If the Chargers are going to get physically pushed around as they did on Saturday night, their stay in the playoffs won’t last long.
This is where the season-ending injury to Denzel Perryman really hurts. However, the Chargers are relatively healthy otherwise, meaning players like Jatavis Brown and Hayes Pullard will need to assist the defensive line in slowing down the opponents’ rushing attack.
With a secondary that includes Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and James, the Chargers shouldn’t be intimidated by anyone throwing the ball against them. They need to be able to force teams to do that.