Will the San Diego Chargers improve their pass defense in 2012?
The San Diego Chargers ranked 13th in pass defense last season when one looks at yards allowed. While this appears to be a decent ranking, it is deceiving. San Diego’s secondary allowed 7.9 yards per pass attempt and only four NFL teams allowed more yards per attempt. There were only five teams in the league that allowed a higher quarterback rating than the Chargers. San Diego had 478 pass attempts thrown against them and only the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs faced fewer pass attempts.
Quentin Jammer was a major part of the problem in 2011. Jammer allowed 10.5 yards per pass attempt when quarterbacks threw to the player he defended compared to 7.2 yards from 2006-2010. He also allowed six touchdowns with no interceptions in 15 games. Jammer went through a divorce last season, so maybe he will play better in 2012 as that can be a huge distraction in terms of results depending on the player. Kobe Bryant went through a divorce when Vanessa Bryant filed on December 16, 2011. The NBA season started on December 25, 2011 and Bryant would go on to make an All-Star team, an All-NBA first team, an All-NBA second team defense and finished fourth in MVP voting.
Antoine Cason struggled in the beginning of 2011 as he was benched for two games after allowing three touchdowns in a week seven loss. Cason improved for most of the second half in 2011 as he allowed only two touchdowns with two interceptions and 10 pass deflections after week 10. Jammer and Cason are in the final year of their contracts, so this should be extra motivation for them to be consistent in 2012. San Diego was tied for 23rd in team sacks, so an improvement in this category should help their secondary. When guys are beat in coverage, hitting the QB before he can make a pass to an open guy will make up for busted coverage. Marcus Gilchrist and Shareece Wright were second and third round picks in 2011, so I am sure the coaches expect them to play bigger roles in 2012.
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