The defensive side of the football is what held the LA Chargers back the most last season. Los Angeles had one of the best offenses in the entire sport but was not a complete team as it also had one of the worst defenses as well.
There were a lot of problems with the Chargers' defense, including dealing with injuries, that was compounded by the team having one of the worst run defenses in the league. LA was sliced open between the tackles time and time again and that is what set the table for teams to get short third-down attempts and convert at a league-high rate against the Bolts.
That is why the front office focused on revamping the defensive side of the football this offseason and added a litany of new players to the fold. Now, after an aggressive offseason, the Bolts see a much-improved product. Not only is it much improved, Not only is the product much improved, but it is now one of the better defensive fronts in the entire league.
The Chargers' front 7 is among the best front 7s in the entire sport.
Ryan McCrystal of Sharp Football Analysis recently put together the list of all 32 front 7s in the NFL. The list is a consensus ranking based on several people's rankings over at Sharp Football Analysis, and as the name suggests, doesn't just consider the starters. It considers depth as well.
The Chargers would have undoubtedly ranked in the bottom 10 if they did these rankings at the end of last season and this year they are given one of the best front 7s in the sport, coming in at no. 5. fifth. If I would have told you six months ago that the Chargers would have the fifth-best front 7 in the sport in July you would have called me crazy.
The addition of Khalil Mack on the edge is huge and the Chargers rebuilt the interior defensive line with the additions of Sebastian Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson, Morgan Fox and rookie Otito Ogbonnnia. While the team is slightly thin in pass rushers on the inside, they also have one of the best edge-rushing duos in the league, so it should offset.
Pair this with an improved secondary that added blue-chipper J.C. Jackson alongside better depth and the Chargers are suited to have one of the better defenses in the league. If the team can follow up with what it has on paper then we could be looking at a top-10 defensive team paired with a top-3 offensive team.
What does that sound like? A Super Bowl-winning team.