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LA Chargers midseason: Five positives of the 2020 season so far

INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks down field during a 31-26 Las Vegas Raiders win at SoFi Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks down field during a 31-26 Las Vegas Raiders win at SoFi Stadium on November 08, 2020 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Denzel Perryman’s consistency at linebacker

The linebacker group is in a tough spot this season. Drue Tranquill suffered what was likely a season-ending injury in Week 1 at Cincinnati. Kyzir White has been decent as a pass rusher but has struggled in coverage quite often this season. While Kenneth Murray started off well, he was recently benched due to communication issues.

Denzel Perryman isn’t thought of as much because he’s not getting the number of snaps he used to, but he’s been a really helpful presence for the Bolts. As a run defender, Perryman is as good as he’s ever been from a personal standpoint. If it wasn’t for him, the Chargers’ rush defense would be much worse than it currently is.

Everyone knows Perryman is a pretty competent early-down linebacker, but he’s added decent coverage skills to his game as well. On 45 percent of his snaps, Perryman has dropped back to defend the pass. Per PFF, 2020 is his best year in coverage statistically with a 78.6 grade.

Perryman has also decreased some of the self-inflicted errors in his game. On 151 snaps this year, the former U linebacker has just one missed tackle. On 359 snaps last season, he had 15. He’s on pace to allow the fewest targets and receptions in his career as well, even when simulated out to a similar amount of snaps.

Next. The biggest advantage the Dolphins have over the Chargers

While he hasn’t had a huge role, Perryman’s been a steadying force at the second level. It would be much worse if the Chargers didn’t have the vet linebacker considering the injuries and uncertainty at the second level.

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