The LA Chargers never quite put themselves in an effective enough position to win against Carolina. What do they need to do better in Week 4?
In a game the LA Chargers were heavily favored in, they came out flat. There’s no other way to say it. While the Panthers played fairly well, it was the Chargers beating themselves. Turnovers, penalties, low energy in the trenches, you name it.
Teddy Bridgewater was impressive and the offensive line had a good game plan upfront, but there was still no reason outside of themselves that the Chargers should’ve lost this game. Let’s talk about what needs to be done better in Week 4 at Tampa Bay.
1. More sustained defensive line pressure
It was shocking to see the LA Chargers’ defensive line get manhandled vs. the Panthers. For what it’s worth, I give the Panthers credit for having a decent game plan for Joey Bosa and the line in general. But still, this was a rebuilding offensive line that did not have Russell Okung in this game.
Prior to this game, the Panthers had given up an 8.9% adjusted sack rate. That was towards the bottom of the league in pass protection. Perhaps it was the losses of Justin Jones and Melvin Ingram being more significant than anticipated. Even when considering that though, this was still a line with Bosa, Linval Joseph, and Jerry Tillery on Sunday.
They were playing lights out in Weeks 1 and 2. The effort against the Chiefs was particularly impressive as they were getting in Patrick Mahomes’ face on what felt like every throw. Uchenna Nwosu got some pressure early and Bosa got a late sack on Bridgewater, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
Tom Brady is even more of a surgical pocket passer than Bridgewater. In Week 4, the Chargers need to bring the heat to him and disrupt his pocket. Otherwise, it could be a much rougher game than it was against the Panthers.