Pass-rush woes a major concern for Chargers

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers appeared to fix the team's struggles creating a consistent pass rush during exhibition play.

San Diego totaled 12 sacks during the preseason -- including six in one half against the Arizona Cardinals. That mark was tied for fourth in the NFL during exhibition play.

However, that aggressive pass-rush has not carried over to the regular season. The Chargers currently have one sack through three games, tied for worst in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.

Rookie Kyle Emanuel has San Diego's only sack this season. Defensive lineman Corey Liuget signed a six-year, $58 million contract extension during the offseason but has yet to record a sack.

Melvin Ingram, a first-round selection by the Chargers in the 2012 draft, has six career sacks in 41 games. The Chargers exercised their fifth-year option on Ingram during the offseason that will pay him $7.75 million in 2016. Ingram also has yet to record a sack through three games.

So what happened?

"I'm not sure, to tell you the truth," Liuget said. "I really don't know what the difference is. We've still got the same guys, and we still have the same mindset. But I guess we're not getting to the quarterback. That's it. That's the only difference, not getting him."

Chargers safety Eric Weddle said the solution is a simple one -- beat the guy in front of you.

"You just have to win your one-on-one battles -- that's basically it," Weddle said. "You have one-on-one battles at every line of the defense. You've got to cover someone. You've got to beat one-on-one rush. You've got to one-on-one tackle. You've got to make it, and if you don't win those battles, you're not going to have a good game."

Even though they have just one sack, the Chargers are No. 3 in the NFL in pass defense, giving up just 189 passing yards per game.

One thing defensive coordinator John Pagano could look to in order to create more pressure is blitzing more and playing less coverage, particularly with the Chargers facing a less mobile quarterback in Cleveland Browns starter Josh McCown.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, McCown has a 48.5 completion percentage and has been sacked three times this season when facing five or more rushers.