SAN DIEGO -- A weekly look at what the San Diego Chargers must fix:
When the Chargers host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, defensive coordinator John Pagano will try to dial up enough pressure to record a sack for the first time in two weeks.
The Chargers finished without a sack or quarterback in hit in a 31-28 win against the Oakland Raiders. Up until that point, San Diego had totaled 12 sacks through five games.
San Diego’s leading sack man, Dwight Freeney, has not recorded a sack since Week 3 against Buffalo. Only four of San Diego’s sacks have occurred on third down, which is tied for No. 14 in the NFL.
Chargers coach Mike McCoy said his defense did a better job of creating pressure against the Raiders when it mattered most: in the fourth quarter. Jeremiah Attaochu had a strip-sack against Oakland QB Derek Carr that was negated due to a face mask penalty. And Eric Weddle also got pressure on a blitz that forced a punt.
“The important thing is we won and we made plays when we had to,” McCoy said. “The three-and-out was big. We got pressure there [Weddle’s blitz], so he threw it away and we got the intentional grounding call. That’s all part of it.
“The first three quarters was not our best defensively. We’re not making any excuses about it.”
The addition of a healthy Attaochu and Cordarro Law should help ignite San Diego’s pass rush. Attaochu missed two weeks with a hamstring injury before the Oakland game but played 33 snaps vs. the Raiders. And Law did not play against the Raiders because of an ankle injury.
Having both Attaochu and Law healthy against the Chiefs, along with Freeney, will give Pagano more options to bring pressure off the edge of the defense.