Lions expose Brandon Staley's fraudulent Chargers defense

Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit Lions v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The biggest storyline surrounding the LA Chargers early in the season was the team's poor defense under defensive head coach Brandon Staley. Los Angeles didn't just have a bad defense, the team had one of the worst defenses in the entire league early on in the year.

However, after the bye week, something seemed to flip for the Chargers. Outside of one really bad half against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Chargers defense played quite well. From Week 5 through Week 9 the Bolts held opponents to 17.4 points per game, after all.

Some fans drank the Kool-Aid and bought into a defensive resurgence. Others pointed out the offenses and quarterbacks who the Chargers played in that span. It is a lot easier to look good on defense when you play Aidan O'Connell (in his first career start), Tyson Bagent (in his second career start) and Zach Wilson.

Week 10 against the Detroit Lions was going to be a real test for Staley and the defense with Detroit being a bona fide top-10 offense in the sport. The Bolts have failed the test.

Lions expose Brandon Staley's fraudulent Chargers defense

The Chargers allowed yet another historic first half of offense as the Lions' 177 rushing yards is the most the team has had in the first half in at least the last 30 years, per ESPN's Kris Rhim. Not only did Detroit score 24 points in the first half, but it could have been much, much worse.

Detroit had a touchdown taken off the board for a penalty on the first drive of the game. Then, the Lions decided to go against the run on a fourth and goal attempt, which resulted in a Jared Goff incompletion. On the next drive, Detroit stuck to the run and scored a touchdown, naturally.

If that penalty does not happen and the Lions just stick to the run then it would have been a 35-point half for Detroit. That might not be what happened, but it shows how 24 points were probably on the low end of the spectrum for points allowed in the first half.

This game is a reminder that the Chargers' defense (and the team as a whole) is good enough to beat up on the bad teams in the league. However, the moment the Bolts play a quality team it all starts to fall apart.