2. San Francisco 49ers
Pro Football Focus thinks that Nick Bosa is the best player in the NFL under 25 years old, which does not make sense considering that Justin Herbert is also under 25. Bosa is undeniably talented but Herbert might be the league's MVP in 2022 at 24 years old. Bosa should slot in one spot behind Herbert in that list.
The San Francisco 49ers also slot in as the second-best defense that the LA Chargers will play in 2022 as they should be among a handful of great defenses in the league. San Francisco has a top-five ceiling as a defensive unit and playing them on the road in primetime isn't going to be the easiest feat.
The 49ers did not miss a beat with Robert Saleh leaving to coach the New York Jets last season. San Francisco ranked seventh in defensive DVOA and fifth in points per game allowed last season. Granted, some of that has to do with the team's ability to put together long drives and keep offenses off the field but the defense still did its job.
The pass-rush is a force to be reckoned with and that got even better with the fantastic selection of Drake Jackson in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The team improved the weakest area of the roster in the offseason in adding secondary help via Charvarius Ward in free agency.
LA does not have the quickest weapons on offense and that could keep the team from exposing some of the athletic limitations that the 49ers may have on the back-half of the defense. This is going to be a really tough defense to beat and is actually one I predicted the Chargers to lose to our our game-by-game record prediction.