Greatest defenses in LA Chargers’ history: 1979
Don Coryell is known for revolutionizing the offensive game in the NFL towards an air-raid style of offense and having one of the best offenses (and worst defenses) in the 1980s. However, before he made historical strides on the offensive ball, Coryell had the best defense in franchise history.
The 1979 season was the second as head coach for Coryell and the team went 12-4 in large part due to the efforts on the defensive side of the ball. This team ranked fifth in total yards allowed, second in total points allowed and third in takeaways. Only the 2007 Chargers have more takeaways in franchise history.
The offense started making strides towards being the best in the league as well and this truly is one of the greatest teams in franchise history. However, in typical Charger fashion, the team lost its first playoff game against the Houston Oilers, 17-14, while throwing five interceptions.
The averages for this team would have been much better as well if they did not allow 45 points to the Oakland Raiders in Week 9. The Chargers allowed fewer than 20 points in 12 of their 16 regular-season games and allowed seven or fewer points in five of the 16 games.
This team had a great defensive line led by Fred Dean and Gary Johnson and had five players who had four or more interceptions in the season. It does not have the same historical star power as the 1992 Chargers but has better overall results.
The 1992 Chargers will undoubtedly be on our list (lookout for that next Sunday) of the greatest teams in LA Chargers’ history.