COSTA MESA, Calif — There’s a basic fundamental in football that the Los Angeles Chargers have failed to execute on a regular basis so far this season: tackling the ball carrier.
The Chargers allowed six plays of 14 yards or more in a 24-21 season-opening loss to the Denver Broncos last week, including a 20-yard pass from Trevor Siemian to Emmanuel Sanders, who cut across the length of the field against the defense.
The missed tackling is the continuation of a troubling trend for the Chargers during exhibition play, as the defense gave up 17 passing plays of 20-plus yards during the preseason, tied for second worst in the league.
“Tackling, that’s fundamental football from Day 1,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. “You’ve been doing that all your life. We just have to do a better job of tackling guys in space. And we try to keep one another fresh.
“If you noticed, we rolled a lot of people throughout the game. That’s something I wanted to do the first month, because I just think starters are not ready to play four quarters all the time. And so we relied on our backups, our reserves. I thought they stepped in. I thought those guys played well, and they kept them fresh. So we just have to do a better job of tackling.”
Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley noted this week that the tackling issue is a red flag and that his players have to do a better job of wrapping up and playing with better leverage.
Chargers safety Adrian Phillips agreed, stating…
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