A lot of talk was made this offseason that the San Diego Chargers defense will have to carry the team and keep them in games with all the struggles the offense was bound to face. This certainly hasn’t been the case two games into the 2013 season, as the offense has really been much more impressive than the defense, particularly in San Diego’s 33-30 shootout win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Chargers won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for over 40 minutes, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. When the Eagles scored, they scored fast. Two of Philadelphia’s three touchdown drives happened in 4 and 2 plays, covering 75 and 65 yards respectively. Big plays, combined with their fast-tempo offense in which they average only about 21 seconds between plays, blows the time of possession stat out of proportion.
A stat that is pretty clear though is the career-high 428 yards that the defense allowed Michael Vick to throw for. Shareece Wright, who guarded DeSean Jackson all game, allowed him to go for 193 yards and a touchdown. And with the time of possession the way it was against Philly, fatigue is no longer an excuse like it was last week in the season opener, when the defense was on the field for nearly 25 of the final 30 minutes of the game.
Last week against the Houston Texans, Wright and Derek Cox combined to allow 14 completions of 19 targets for 173 yards.
This offseason, the Chargers completely revamped their secondary with three new starters, and aside from holdover Eric Weddle, no one has really played very well through two games. The cornerback tandem of Cox and Wright was supposed to be much improved from last years’ woeful combination of aging Quentin Jammer and draft bust Antoine Cason. So far though, it hasn’t been too great. There’s plenty more time for the two to gain experience and get better, but the Chargers will need both to step it up soon.