1. We will see the return of the elite Brandon Staley defense
Brandon Staley was touted as one of the best defensive minds in football when he was hired by the LA Chargers last year. Ironically enough, it was the offensive side of the ball and the overall philosophy of the organization that Staley improved in 2021, not the defense.
The Chargers were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last year and there were two big reasons why. First is that the team really lacked quality depth and was dealing with issues both in the defensive line and secondary at the same time. When that happens, you are toast.
The second reason, which is more applicable to 2022, is because the Chargers did not have the proper personnel to run Staley's defensive schemes. Staley's defense is built in playing as little players in the box as possible with a defensive line that can penetrate and stop the bleeding with the run and a secondary that is deep and versatile.
Without making any other moves the Chargers have accomplished a better defensive that is more in line with what Staley wants to do and there are more moves coming as well. J.C. Jackson gives the Chargers the true CB1 they were lacking (with more depth likely coming in the draft) while the defensive line has been completely rebuilt with three new starters.
The Chargers can actually thrive more in Staley's vision for the defense with this personnel and the players who are entering year two with Staley are going to be more familiar with the defense and should improve. Expect the likes of Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. to be better in 2022 than they were in 2021.
The Chargers were a top-five team in the league last season on the offensive side of the football. If they can even become top-10 on the defensive side then how can many teams expect to beat them?