San Diego Chargers Do Not Have The Best Defense in The NFL

John BartramCorrespondent IIDecember 12, 2010

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers audibles during the 1st quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 13, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It's become tiresome to keep reading and listening to pundits talking about how a team, the Chargers, can have the number one offense and defense and possibly, likely, miss the playoffs.

Before I bore you with the statistical misrepresentations of their "number one defense", think about something else.

Do you, as a football fan, think the Chargers have the best defense in football?  When you think of great defensive football teams, are they the first team to pop into your mind?

If you are honest, chances are you would say Pittsburgh, Baltimore and the Jets without even thinking about it.  The reason they would is because they are all far superior defensive teams than the San Diego Chargers.

The Chargers have given up the fewest amount of total yardage in the NFL to date.  That's it.  That is where their number one rating comes from.  So what?  They've also lost six games. 

The Packers, Steelers, Bears, Ravens, Saints, Jets, Falcons, Rams, Chiefs, Dolphins, Browns, Giants and Bucs have all given up less points.  Maybe I'm being simple minded about this, but it would seem a lot more of an accurate measuring stick for a defense to rate them by the amount of points they surrender, not yards.

If you'll notice the first four of those teams, they are the teams you think of when it comes to defense.  It's because other teams cannot score against them.  Simple, but pretty logical.  There are only three teams that have given up fewer passing touchdowns, but 20 that have given up fewer rushing touchdowns. 

In fact, it is arguably the only statistical category the Chargers lead the NFL in defensively.  It is a total sham.  Offensively, they are studs due mainly to Phillip Rivers.  I've got no argument there, though they don't even score the most points either.  I won't nit pick that one because when you think of explosive offensive teams, you do think of the Chargers.

It is reminiscent of earlier this year when everyone was bashing Matt Cassel.  My complaint was the same then, only in reverse.  Now that everyone is on his bandwagon, there is no need, but passers are rating by total passing yards.

Same nonsense, it just took a while for the geniuses to figure out that statistics are often meaningless, up for interpretation and can be manipulated for virtually any purpose.  Just mold them like clay and you get what you want.  I do, however, understand there are valid statistical measurements that are used everyday, not only in sports, but everywhere in life. 

Sometimes, you should just use a little common sense and logic.  The San Diego Chargers are not the best defense in the NFL.