LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Five reasons for 2020’s pass rush regression

Alexander Insdorf
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Uchenna Nwosu and Joey Bosa
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Uchenna Nwosu and Joey Bosa /
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(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

Gus Bradley not increasing the blitz rate

Gus Bradley had gotten away with not blitzing as much in past seasons. The Chargers were dead last at bringing the house on a rush  in 2019 at 14.5%. Despite being dead last in blitzing volume though, the Chargers were still near the top 10 in pressure percentage at 23.8%.

The Chargers’ pressure percentage has dropped by 0.6% in 2020 to 23.2%. That may not seem like a lot, but it does amount to the Chargers getting fewer pressures, sacks, hurries, and hits in each game. They’re now 15th in pressure percentage.

Technically, Bradley has increased the blitz rate…from 14.5% to 15.7%. But as you might guess, that’s still 32nd in the NFL.

Where the low blitz rate has really hurt the Chargers is in games without their main stars. In Ingram’s missed games, they should’ve brought the house more to manufacture pressure. More pressure was sorely needed when Bosa was out with a concussion. It cost the Bolts’ defense quite a bit in recent games.

Jerry Tillery and Justin Jones have not been consistent enough in pass rush this year to still get top tier pressure without blitzing. It’s one thing to trust your line to work itself out, but it’s another to trust them to a fault.

The solution here? To be determined. No one knows whether Anthony Lynn or Gus Bradley will end up keeping their jobs at this point, so it’s too early to say.