The Return of Joey Bosa

Week 11 Fantasy Preview
Los Angeles Chargers Defensive End Joey Bosa. Photo Credit: Monica Dyrud

The Return of Joey Bosa

The Los Angeles Chargers have been without Joey Bosa for a total of eleven NFL weeks. Surprisingly, even without their star defensive end, the Chargers have played extremely well. The Bosa-less Chargers, prior to the game against the Denver Broncos on November 18th, 2018 were on pace to clinch an early playoff berth. Not so fast, the return of Joey Bosa along with a 23-22 loss to the Broncos only made things worst.

Re-Introducing A Starter

In team sports, inserting a player back into the lineup can be tricky. Basically, when a star player is hurt the reps or snaps they usually get will now be divided up amongst other players. The Chargers while Bosa was out substituted at least two to three guys in hopes of replacing his productivity. To some extent, it was working. The Chargers defense found a rhythm while Bosa was gone and against the Broncos that continuity was disrupted.

Blaming Bosa wouldn’t be fair because he is a player the Chargers need on the field at all times. Unfortunately, by adding Bosa back in the line up it shifted everyone else back to their regulated duties. A second-string defensive end who was once getting 20 to 30 defensive snaps a game was now reduced to 10 snaps and placed back on punt coverage. This Bosa butterfly effect won’t cause horrific consequences. But, this effect will need to be addressed immediately.

Defensive Coaching Strategies

With a healthy Bosa on the sideline during the Chargers game against the Broncos, their defensive line had to make internal adjustments. This was primarily due to players having to feel what it was once like playing beside Bosa. Even with Bosa playing roughly 30 snaps, the defense appeared to be overcompensating in anticipation of 2017, 12.5 sack Bosa showing up. Well, it didn’t happen. One solo tackle from Bosa is all the Chargers got.

As Bosa continues to work back into the line up from a foot injury, it was clear the coaches were playing it safe against Denver. The Chargers, since the news of his injury, have preached patience with Bosa’s foot. That notion was before the season-ending injury to Corey Liuget, ironically against the Broncos. Now, the Chargers must increase Bosa’s involvement on defense. So long patience for Bosa and his foot. To guarantee a new rebirth in how other players play alongside Bosa he needs to play at least 45 to 50 snaps against the Cardinals.

Winning With Bosa

The formula to winning with Bosa will thankfully get a fresh start against the Arizona Cardinals. There is no such thing as a guaranteed win on Sunday, but playing against a 2-8 team like the Cardinals can hopefully allow the Chargers to get back to their winning way’s. Their winning ways will have to be centered around trusting each other. More importantly, trusting Bosa and his foot.