By Jake Saltzman
Things are different with the San Diego Chargers now than they were the last time the Falcons visited San Diego in 2008. Philip Rivers is still throwing to Antonio Gates, so a complete makeover hasn’t occurred, but Gates’ four receptions are hardly the reason San Diego, like Atlanta, has opened up 2-0.
The Chargers may have finally sorted out their defense. Good news for San Diego, bad news for the rest of the NFL.
The Chargers enter week three with the second best defensive points per game ranking in the NFL, an even 12, and first in the league in rush yards allowed per game, at just over 41.
A hefty chunk of that does deal directly with the Chargers’ opening opponents, Oakland and Tennessee, both still winless and both trying to figure out how to rejuvenate their high-profile running backs.
A bigger part has to do with the job Norv Turner and his staff has done with their defensive personnel. On the hot seat for the past 30 months or so, the somehow-still-employed Turner has done an excellent job of successfully incorporating rookie Melvin Ingram into the defense without over-exposing the young linebacker. Ingram already has half a sack and a forced fumble to his credit in his first two professional games.
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