The Los Angeles Chargers take on the Green Bay Packers with their Swiss cheese defense
Brandon Staley dug into his feet. Now, if only the Los Angeles Chargers could claw their way out of another horrific defensive display.
The Chargers (4-5) visit the Green Bay Packers (3-6) on Sunday, but very few of Los Angeles’ players, especially those assigned to tackle, are smiling as if someone said “cheese.”
The Chargers are coming off a loss to the Detroit Lions in which their defense was Swiss cheese, allowing at least 200 yards and 30 points for the third time this season.
Staley, the Chargers’ coach and caller on defensive plays, doubled down and said he’s not backing away from his duties.
“We believe in the way we’re playing and we believe in the players we’re playing with,” Staley said after another exciting defensive performance. “You’ll make adjustments throughout the year, but nothing major.”
During Staley’s three years at the helm, Los Angeles’ defense was always the weak link on a team that featured an excellent player in Justin Herbert.
Despite Herbert’s considerable talent and production, he is viewed as merely the next player in line (see Philip Rivers and Dan Fouts) for an organization that has been blessed with a quarterback position, while usually reviling its defense.
We swear, the depths of incompetence to which the defense has sunk still raise eyebrows. In a 41-38 loss by the Lions, the unit surrendered 533 yards and five touchdowns.
Surprisingly, the Chargers rank at or near the bottom of every defensive category.
But Staley, who was hired after leading the Los Angeles Rams’ 2020 defense to the top of the NFL standings, isn’t looking to shake things up. Instead, it’s the status quo and he’s dodging criticism amid growing tension over his competency as a first-time head coach at any level.
He’s not interested in seeing if a fresh set of eyes in putting defenders in the right place and the scheme is the right way to go for the Chargers, despite being tied for last place in the AFC West with the rebuilding Denver Broncos.
“If you feel like it gives you the best chance to win or you think they’re lighting up your team or something, people do it,” Staley said. “But we don’t feel that’s the direction we’re going to take.”
While many are impressed by Staley’s conviction, the reality is that the Chargers struggle largely with firepower crimes. The Lions proved that on the heels of Los Angeles winning back-to-back games against the Chicago Bears and lukewarm New York Jets.
The Packers lean more toward the Bears and Jets in moving the ball behind inexperienced quarterback Jordan Love. It will be interesting to see the degree to which the Chargers’ defense can rebound, once again, as they try to beat the Packers on the road for the first time since 1984.
That was the same year the Summer Olympics were held in Los Angeles. It may take an Olympic effort for the Chargers’ wobbly defense to stop burning out.
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(Tags for translation)Los Angeles Chargers