The San Diego Chargers will play in their regular season opener tomorrow night against the Oakland Raiders. San Diego was tied with the Cleveland Browns for 23rd in the NFL with 32 team sacks in 2011. The Chargers will have to be better than this in 2012.
This could start by putting pressure on Oakland’s quarterback Carson Palmer. In five career games against San Diego, Palmer averaged 348 yards, completed 70 percent of his passes while throwing 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
In two games against San Diego last season, Palmer averaged 358 yards to go along with four touchdowns and two interceptions. While Palmer has put together some great games against San Diego, the Cincinnati Bengals had a 1-2 record against San Diego with Palmer while Oakland was 1-1 last season.
In these five games against Palmer and his teams, San Diego only recorded six sacks. San Diego has to put Palmer on his back more than this tomorrow night. This could be difficult because Oakland only allowed 25 sacks last season which ranked fourth in the NFL and they ranked seventh in fewest QB hits allowed.
San Diego added first round pick Melvin Ingram who had nine sacks in 2010 and 10 in 2011. The addition of Ingram to go along with Antwan Barnes who was tied for 11th in the NFL with 11 sacks could improve their pass rush.
Shaun Phillips had at least seven sacks in every season from 2005-2010, but battled an injury last season. In 14 career games against Oakland, Phillips had 11.5 sacks. San Diego will need a strong effort from their defense in tomorrow night’s game.