Chargers Vs. Dolphins: Defensive Difference Makers For Week 1

Week 1- Chargers vs. Dolphins: Which defensive players should you be on the lookout for?

We’re finally here at the start of the regular season! So it’s time to look at the Chargers players that will be the difference makers for this first game:

Check out the Offensive and the Rookies/ Special Teams Difference Makers for Chargers vs. Dolphins.

Defensive Difference Makers In Week 1: Chargers Vs. Dolphins

*As a note, cornerback J.C. Jackson is not included on this list as it’s not clear yet if he’ll be playing this first game.

Joey Bosa, Edge Rusher

Bosa seems to be back in peak physical condition. He’s going to be one of the keys to getting to Tua Tagovailoa and stopping anything getting to those lightning fast receivers.

Khalil Mack, Edge Rusher

We got just a taste of Mack and Bosa together at the start of last season and if both are healthy, it’s going to be really interesting to see them week to week. They’ve been working together even before the start of training camp and are going to be in a really good rhythm for the start of the season.

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Derwin James, Safety

James has always been the ace in the hole on this Chargers team, and I don’t expect this year to be any different. He was out against Miami last year with a quad injury and considering what the Chargers did without him, they’ll have even more of an advantage with him. All aspects of James’s game have stayed so consistent over the years that as long as he’s healthy, he’s golden. 

Michael Davis, Cornerback

All last year I was singing the praises of Davis as his receiver coverage was on another level. Miami was where he got his third best receiver coverage grade (76.3) of the year and had a pass breakup while covering both wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Davis will hopefully pick up right where he left off and have another great year. 

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Morgan Fox, Defensive Lineman

Fox came back home to LA after spending a year in Carolina and it appears that California agrees with him. His sack rate last year (seven) was tied with his career-high in 2020, and he also had career-highs in quarterback hits (six), and hurries (29). His performance was just what the Chargers needed in the midst of so many injuries. It’s good to have him back.

Eric Kendricks, Linebacker

Kendricks is the perfect replacement for Drue Tranquill, who went to the Chiefs this off-season.  He’s got the run defense covered in more ways than one and will help make sure the communication is on point throughout to stop explosive plays. With so many high-powered receivers, he’s definitely going to be important during this game.

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Kenneth Murray, Linebacker

Murray has been doing great this offseason and it helps that he’s got some ringing endorsements from Kendricks. He had a bit of an up and down 2022, but the Miami game last year was one of his strongest. That game and the one against the Colts were the matchups in which he had the most STOPs that season with four. Murray’s run defense needed work so that’s going to be the one of the aspects I’ll be looking at this game.