2. Blitz more often
The LA Chargers are still the team that blitzes the least in the NFL. They did call the highest number of blitzes in their most recent game against the Saints, and that’s a trend that needs to continue.
The weekly breakdown is as follows:CIN – 10KC – 3CAR – 5TB – 9NO – 11
— Guilty As Charged Podcast (@GACPodcast17) October 21, 2020
Against the Bengals’ suspect offensive line, the Chargers had great success blitzing. They followed that up with merely three blitzes against the Chiefs, as the Chargers have learned from past games that against Patrick Mahomes in particular, it’s more effective to have all hands on deck in coverage and run support.
After the game against Carolina, blitzes started showing up more often, but that may have something to do with Gus Bradley having to bring more men to rush the quarterback to account for the banged-up defensive line. With Bosa fully healthy, and Ingram and Jones back, it’s reasonable to expect Bradley to dial the blitzes down.
Against a bad Jacksonville offensive line, that would be a mistake. Gardner Minshew has been pressured a staggering 87 times in 6 games so far this season, according to PFF. Minshew has also been sacked 17 times, good for 4th highest in the league.
While this sounds like an argument about why we shouldn’t blitz much against the Jaguars since the defensive line is likely to bring pressure constantly on their own, well-timed and well-executed blitzes can disrupt the Jaguars’ offense in a big way.
Minshew has struggled with accuracy in the short to intermediate area so far this season, and that’s where he’ll be looking if he sees many defenders coming his way. The Chargers can take their chances with Minshew looking for dump-offs, but the most likely scenario will be an incomplete pass, a scramble, or a turnover for LA.
Regarding scrambles, Minshew is a player who scrambles very often. He has scrambled 17 times so far this season averaging 6.2 yards per scramble, according to Pro Football Reference. He was also the player with the most amount of scrambles in 2019, despite only starting 12 games. That will be something for the Chargers’ defense to keep in mind.
Disrupting the offense early and often will come a long way in helping put the game away before the Chargers have a chance to mess it up. Minshew is no Tom Brady or Drew Brees, but make no mistake, underestimating Minshew can lead to the Chargers dropping a must-win game. It already happened with Teddy Bridgewater and his Carolina Panthers.