3. Joey Bosa
This is arguably the biggest x-factor of this game that has seemingly gotten swept under the rug. Staley and Jackson took the bulk of the blame and took the spotlight off of Joey Bosa and the rest of the Chargers pass rush.
To be fair, it wasn't just Bosa who struggled in this game, it was the pass rush as a whole. Fans have been chomping at the bit to see Bosa and Khalil Mack back in action and this was a very favorable matchup with Terron Armstead inactive.
The Dolphins have a quick-strike offense that makes it tougher to get pressure on the quarterback. You are not going to get a coverage sack against Miami as the ball will get out one way or another before that can happen. That being said, elite pass rushers like Bosa should not have to rely on coverage sacks to get pressure on the quarterback.
Here it what seems to have happened, from an outsider's perspective. The Chargers seemed comfortable with playing more man coverage and trusting the superstars on defense. After all, Derwin James, Jackson and Bosa did not play last year.
But in order to properly execute that strategy, the star players have to do star player things. James wasn't amazing in this game but he at least had a consequential pass break-up. Jackson was horrible and Bosa did not do his part.
It appeared that the Chargers headed into this game expecting to be able to get pressure on Tua with four rushers. If that had happened it would have changed the entire complexion of the defense, but it didn't. Tua was throwing in a clean pocket for most of the game, putting more pressure on the secondary, which eventually snapped.
Last year the Chargers defeated the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 behind a vintage Mack performance in which he recorded three sacks as part of a bigger pass rush. This year, the Chargers' defense got trounced by Miami's offense and the lack of a pass rush was a big reason why.