We are two weeks into the 2023 NFL season and while there is a lot of football left to play there has also been a lot to learn from these first two weeks. For the LA Chargers, the biggest takeaway has been just how awful this defense is this season.
This is a real problem as Brandon Staley is a defensive head coach and was lauded as a defensive genius prior to his stint with the Chargers. It would be one thing if this was a new problem for the Bolts but it has been the problem since Staley took over. The Chargers have allowed the fourth-most points in the league since Staley took over as the head coach.
Even if defense doesn't win championships, a really bad defense can keep a team from winning a championship. If the Chargers continue this trend they will struggle to even sniff a .500 record, let alone make the playoffs.
NFL power rankings based on defensive points allowed:
- 1. Dallas Cowboys - 10 points allowed
- 2. Cleveland Browns - 29 points allowed
- 3. Kansas City Chiefs - 30 points allowed
- 4. San Francisco 49ers - 30 points allowed
- 5. Buffalo Bills - 32 points allowed
- 6. New Orleans Saints - 32 points allowed
- 7. Baltimore Ravens - 33 points allowed
- 8. Atlanta Falcons - 34 points allowed
- 9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 34 points allowed
- 10. Jacksonville Jaguars - 38 points allowed
- 11. Tennessee Titans - 40 points allowed
- 12. LA Rams - 43 points allowed
- 13. Carolina Panthers - 44 points allowed
- 14. Green Bay Packers - 45 points allowed
- 15. New York Jets - 46 points allowed
- 16. Philadelphia Eagles - 48 points allowed
- 17. New England Patriots - 49 points allowed
- 18. Washington Commanders - 49 points allowed
- 19. Arizona Cardinals - 51 points allowed
- 20. Cincinnati Bengals - 51 points allowed
- 21. Indianapolis Colts - 51 points allowed
- 22. Miami Dolphins - 51 points allowed
- 23. Denver Broncos - 52 points allowed
- 24. Pittsburgh Steelers - 52 points allowed
- 25. Las Vegas Raiders - 54 points allowed
- 26. Minnesota Vikings - 54 points allowed
- 27. Houston Texans - 56 points allowed
- 28. Detroit Lions - 57 points allowed
- 29. Seattle Seahawks - 61 points allowed
- 30. LA Chargers - 63 points allowed
- 31. Chicago Bears - 65 points allowed
- 32. New York Giants - 68 points allowed
Only the Bears and Giants have allowed more points in the first two weeks of the season. Chicago, New York and Seattle are the only other teams in the league that have allowed 27 or more points in both games this season, joining the Chargers.
The Chargers defense is not getting relief anytime soon
Not only have the Chargers struggled to get going on the defensive side of the football but the team is not going to get much help in the coming weeks. Week 2 was meant to be the medicine that the Chargers' defense needed and the team still allowed the Titans to score 27 points.
Los Angeles has to play Justin Jefferson and the Vikings, Davante Adams and the Raiders, Ceedee Lamb and the Cowboys, and Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the next four weeks. All four of those teams are dangerous offensively and are going to expose this bad Chargers defense even further.
The only saving grace is that two of those teams, Minnesota and Vegas, also have a bad defense. Against Dallas and Kansas City, though, it is going to be a huge mismatch.