The San Diego Chargers have 40:1 odds to be Super Bowl XLIX Champions. To even get through the preseason the Chargers need to beef up their defense. Yesterday’s defensive showcase in Super Bowl XLVIII explicitly maintains the mantra of “defense wins championships” and how defense is overlooked in a quarterback’s league. The old school formula of a strong defense and run game (AKA “Martyball”) is still effective against Peyton Manning.
The Chargers displayed a rough sketch in the regular season on how to beat the Broncos in a playoff-like atmosphere, but the Seattle Seahawks provided the finishing touches of how to lay the smack down on the Denver Broncos.
The Chargers can compete in the AFC West, but leapfrogging the Broncos requires the Chargers to invest on defense through free agency or the draft. Eric Weddle can’t be a one-man show in the secondary.
For starters, somebody (anybody) has to play better than Derek Cox. His career in San Diego might be relegated to one year and while Richard Marshall is an average corner, the Chargers need a lockdown corner to scare Manning. The best-case scenario for the Chargers is picking up a CB who can return kicks on special teams.
Secondly, it’s got to be the pass rush. The Seahawks were physical up front and though they collectively only recorded one sack, Manning was hurried and uncomfortable behind his offensive line. Melvin Ingram proved his worth, but they need more from different guys. Defensive end and another rush linebacker come to mind.
For the Chargers to even shrink their 40:1 odds of bringing a championship to San Diego, they must stack themselves on defense. Don’t forget the Chargers and the rest of AFC West go at it in 2014, so it’s going to be a tough regular season first. But at least the Chargers have a sketch of how to win the west.