Overreaction 5: Even without Derwin James, the LA Chargers have a Top 5 defense.
Clearly, the largest bright spot of the day was the unit that kept the team in the game.
Whenever a defense is able to hold an offense to 13 points, it can be considered a good day. When the defense is able to give up less than 300 yards, force two turnovers, and collect three sacks, it is safe to call it an excellent day.
However, all of this production did come against the team with the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. So, should we still be excited and think of this defense as a top 5 defense in the NFL?
Absolutely we should.
My reasoning for this confidence is twofold. First, I believe that the Cincinnati Bengals offense, while not top-tier, is near an average NFL offense.
While Joe Burrow is young and made one crucial rookie mistake, he looked exactly like the quarterback with unshakeable confidence and great talent that he was at LSU.
Furthermore, while this offense has a poor line, they possess excellent weapons in Joe Mixon, A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and John Ross. This is not your old horrible, bland Bengals offense.
My second reason for believing that this is not an overreaction is the wide range of contributors that showed up for the LA Chargers defense.
On the defensive line, Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Jerry Tillery, and Uchenna Nwosu all made some disruptive plays. Linebackers Kenneth Murray and Nick Vigil played fast from sideline to sideline making stops. While the rotation in the deep secondary is still in flux, Casey Hayward and Chris Harris kept a pair of talented receivers relatively quiet.
The wide range of playmakers and players producing has me confident that calling the Chargers a top 5 defense after one week is not an overreaction.
Verdict 5: Not an overreaction