The San Diego Chargers forced seven fumbles last season, which was tied for last in the NFL. San Diego was tied for 13th in team interceptions and ranked 13th in pass defense, but opponents threw the ball 30 times per game against them, which was the third fewest pass attempts against a team. This makes the ranking of their pass defense overrated. Eric Weddle was tied for the NFL lead with seven interceptions last season and Patrick Robinson of the New Orleans Saints was the only player with a higher percentage of his team’s interceptions, so they need someone else to step up in this category.
San Diego was tied with the Cleveland Browns for 23rd in team sacks with 32. The ability to put pressure on quarterbacks increases a team’s chances of forcing turnovers, so the addition of first round pick Melvin Ingram could help San Diego. Shaun Phillips could return to form as well to go along with Antwan Barnes who was tied for 11th in sacks last season. An improved run defense could also help with forcing turnovers as San Diego ranked 20th in this category last season. The addition of veteran outside linebacker Jarret Johnson as well as second and third round picks Kendall Reyes and Brandon Taylor could improve the run defense and force more turnovers.
San Diego’s secondary was vulnerable last season based on the fact that teams rarely threw against them, but the Chargers allowed a quarterback rating of 92.5. There were only five teams that allowed a higher rating. San Diego needs to improve against the pass and the run to be a better team in 2012.