4. The LA Chargers have a great defense with one glaring hole: third downs
The LA Chargers have the potential to have a truly elite defense in 2020. The team already had one of the quietly solid defenses in the league last season and that will only get better with the additions the team made and health.
The Chargers still had a glaring hole defensively and that was the team’s efforts on third down. The Chargers had the fourth-worst opponent third-down conversion percentage, first downs on 45.13 percent of third downs.
You are not going to win a lot of football games doing that. Sure, the team was solid with its bend, don’t break, mindset, but you have to be able to make quick stops in this league if you are going to be successful, period.
The reason for this was the team’s lack of a really solid run defense. Teams were able to pick up yardage in early downs, making third downs much, much easier. The front office knows this is something that must be addressed as they did it in the offseason.
Linval Joseph projects to be a big help for the team at defensive end and Kenneth Murray is an uber-athletic hard-nosed linebacker that thrives in plugging running lanes and making open-field tackles.
That should be enough for the Chargers to have a much better run defense in 2020 and hopefully lower these third-down conversions.
Because if not the, despite how talented the rest of the defense will be, the Chargers will not win games allowing first downs this frequently on third down.