3 realistic goals for the Chargers defense during the 2022 season

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders / Steve Marcus/GettyImages
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Asante Samuel Jr.
New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

3. Bring the third-down defense to under 40%

The Chargers had the worst third-down defense in the entire league last season. That was the main reason why the Bolts had one of the worst defenses in the league and did not allow the offense to fully capitalize on how good it truly was.

There were several factors to this. Having a thin secondary that got belted with injuries did not help. The horrible run defense obviously played a factor as well as teams could convert just about any third and short they wanted on the ground. Plus, it is easier to convert third downs when you can run the ball twice for 7-8 yards almost every time at the least.

The improved run defense will naturally have an impact on this number. With more talent in the secondary, the hope is that the third-down defense this year can be miles better than it was last year. That being said, the offense is so good that the Chargers don't even need to have an elite third-down defense.

The Bolts allowed a first down on 49.54% of third downs last year. If the team can just slash that number by 10% it would move them all the way up on the NFL rankings to 16th. Again, not elite, just league-average. That is all the team needs.

If the Chargers can manage to improve even more than that and slash it by 15% then the team would have ranked third in the league last season. That is a massive jump to make, but the Bolts could absolutely lower that number by 10-15% with the additions that were made.

This is extremely important as it does not matter how good your offense is if your defense is allowing other teams to convert half of their third downs.