NFL San Diego Chargers

Will the San Diego Chargers put pressure on Matt Cassel?

San Diego Chargers Defense

Jody Gomez-US Presswire

The San Diego Chargers struggled to put pressure on quarterbacks during the 2011 NFL season.  San Diego had 32 team sacks which was tied with theCleveland Browns for 23rd in this category out of 32 teams.

San Diego has five team sacks through three games this season which is tied for 22nd in the league.  Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs could be just what the doctor ordered for San Diego.

Kansas City allowed 11 sacks in three games this season which ranks 29th for offensive lines.  The Chiefs also allowed 17 QB hits which ranks 27th among all teams.

If the Chargers are unable to get pressure on Kansas City QB Matt Cassel, then something is wrong.  An effective pass rush could also force Cassel into bad throws which is possible because he has three touchdowns and four interceptions this season.

Cassel played in seven games against the Chargers in his career.  In these seven games, he has six touchdowns, nine interceptions, has been sacked 15 times and has five fumbles two of which were recovered by San Diego.

Shaun Phillips currently leads San Diego with 2.5 sacks and has 6.5 sacks in 14 games against Kansas City.  Antwan Barnes has one sack this season and three in four games against KC.

San Diego had three sacks to open the season against the Oakland Raiders which made it look like they improved.  Oakland’s offensive line was tied for fourth in fewest sacks allowed last season with 25 and are tied for eighth in fewest sacks allowed in 2012.

San Diego improved defensively because they allowed 5.2 yards per play in three games this season which ranks 11th in the NFL.  It would be nice to see them get more pressure on quarterbacks because this would make it easier to sustain their yards per play ranking.