2. Regression hits multiple points of the Chargers defense
What makes the NFL one of the hardest sports to predict both yearly and week-to-week is the variance of how players can play from one season to the next. Scheme is a big factor that can really help or hurt a player but age is perhaps the most consequential factor for a player's performance.
NFL players simply regress quicker than other athletes in American sports. In baseball or basketball, you can typically see the regression coming and it is a slow burn over several seasons. In the NFL, players can fall off the regression cliff quickly and go from impact player to below-average.
There are several candidates for this to happen to on the defensive side of the ball for the Chargers and if they all end up happening we could see a less talented version of the defense than fans are expecting.
Veterans like Khalil Mack and Eric Kendricks are at the age where it can happen in a snap. Kendricks' potential regression is more concerning as he has not played in this scheme and the linebacker depth behind him is very troublesome.
Then you have someone like Michael Davis, who was absolutely stellar in the second half of 2022 but has bounced up and down throughout his career. It would not be the first time Davis takes a step back after playing well.
The Chargers do not need all of these guys to be elite, they just need them to delay that regression by at least one more year.