Jason Verrett emerging as defensive leader for Chargers

SAN DIEGO -- He corralled his second interception of the season against the visiting Denver Broncos and helped the San Diego Chargers hold speedy receiver Emmanuel Sanders to three receptions for 19 yards.

In his second season, cornerback Jason Verrett has emerged as one of the leaders on defense. Verrett is someone who leads more by example, letting his play do the talking.

However, Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano said he’s encouraged the TCU product to be more vocal with his teammates.

“Some guys are leaders out on the field with their playmaking ability,” Pagano said. “Some guys are vocal leaders. Some guys are leaders by getting everybody together to go watch film. There’s different ways.

“And he is somebody who’s getting more vocal, but also likes to do it more by his play on the field.”

Verrett is fourth on the team defensively with 553 snaps played. He leads the Chargers in interceptions (2), including one returned 68 yards for a touchdown. He has 11 pass breakups on the year and gives San Diego a quality No. 1 corner that can compete with some of the best receivers in the NFL.

But while Verrett can’t stand giving up catches, he hates losing even more.

“I’m upset about the loss more than anything,” Verrett said after Sunday’s setback to Denver. “At the end of the day it’s a team game. Next week we are going against another good team in Kansas City. We have to throw this one away and get ready for Kansas City.”

Here’s a closer look at the snap counts for the Chargers in their loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 13:

OFFENSE (Based on 66 snaps)

QuarterbackPhilip Rivers 66.

Running backDanny Woodhead 36, Melvin Gordon 25, Donald Brown 12.

Wide receiverMalcom Floyd 59, Stevie Johnson 44, Javontee Herndon 29, Dontrelle Inman 9.

Tight endLadarius Green 58, Antonio Gates 41, David Johnson 9, John Phillips 7.

Offensive lineOrlando Franklin 66, Trevor Robinson 66, Chris Hairston 66, Kenny Wiggins 66, Joe Barksdale 50, Tyreek Burwell 17.

Offensive analysis – San Diego’s longest completion against the Broncos was a 31-yard catch and run by Brown. ... Burwell’s 17 plays was his most extensive action of the season. ... Gates was targeted a game-high nine times, finishing with six receptions for 50 yards. ... Rivers finished 7 of 10 for 78 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions on third down. He was sacked once, posting a 92.9 passer rating on third down. ... The Chargers have a minus-9 turnover differential in the team’s nine losses this season.

DEFENSE (Based on 69 snaps)

LineKendall Reyes 49, Corey Liuget 39, Ricardo Mathews 30, Ryan Carrethers 27, Damion Square 25.

LinebackerMelvin Ingram 67, Manti Te’o 62, Denzel Perryman 54, Jeremiah Attaochu 29, Kyle Emanuel 29, Cordarro Law 14, Donald Butler 8.

SecondaryEric Weddle 69, Jahleel Addae 69, Jason Verrett 69, Patrick Robinson 66, Steve Williams 27, Jimmy Wilson 13, Brandon Flowers 13.

Defensive analysis – San Diego’s 11 takeaways defensively is fourth-worst in the NFL. ... The Chargers have just seven sacks when sending four or fewer rushers, tied with the Indianapolis Colts for worst in the league. ... Denver quarterback Brock Osweiler finished 5 of 8 for 51 yards on third down against the Chargers, with no interceptions and no touchdowns. He was not sacked, posting an 80.7 passer rating on third down. ... The Chargers have not given up a rushing touchdown in the past two games.