EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY — The Monsters of the Freeway? The Powder Blue Wall?
No, the Los Angeles Chargers’ defense, especially in 2023, will not be mistaken for a unit that strikes fear in opponents, so when it does have a stellar performance, like it did on Monday night, that deserves to be celebrated.
If it continues that form, complementing the normally high-powered Los Angeles offense, then that fear might start to swell league-wide.
It’s a California-sized if, of course, but there is hope for the Chargers defense, especially after it kept the New York Jets out of the end zone during a 27-6 victory on Monday Night Football inside MetLife Stadium. Led by the Pro Bowl bookends of Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack, the Bolts sacked New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson eight times, forced three turnovers, and nearly scored a touchdown of its own after one of the sacks in the fourth quarter resulted in a fumble and return to the 2-yard line by safety Alohi Gilman.
OK, some perspective here: the Chargers, who came into the game ranked 31st (aka next to last) in the National Football League in total defense, were playing the moribund offense of Gang Green, ranked 31st in the league in total offense. The stoppable force against the movable object, if you will.
But something had to give, and the Chargers’ defense barely gave an inch in plunging the Jets to another horrific display of offensive football.
“I thought from the first whistle to the last one, we competed. Thought we did the things that good defenses do,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said. “I thought we were physical tonight, we did a really good job against the run game, thought we rushed the passer, we limited the explosions in the deep part of the field and we were really good in the red zone. It was a team win and our guys, they practiced at a high level all week and they carried it to the field tonight.”