San Diego Chargers Predictions: Defense Will Repeat as Best in the NFL

Michael ClineCorrespondent IJuly 29, 2011

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 19:  Safety Eric Weddle #32 of the San Diego Chargers celebrates a sack against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qualcomm Stadium on September 19, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 38-13.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Led by Eric Weddle, Shaun Philips and Antoine Cason, the 2010 San Diego Chargers led the NFL in many defensive categories. This year, the Bolts' defense looks even more formidable.

In the 2011 NFL draft, A.J Smith bolstered his winning defense even further, drafting Corey Liuget and Marcus Gilchrist. Now with the NFL lockout over, the Chargers wasted no time re-signing their top defensive players and picking up some more big names.

Eric Weddle, who was targeted by Houston as well, re-signed with the Chargers, making him the highest paid safety in the NFL. The Chargers will also bring in former Indianapolis Colt Bob Sanders, who has incredible speed.

To improve at linebacker, the Chargers targeted San Francisco 49er Takeo Spikes and brought him to San Diego. They will also try to keep Kevin Burnett. Shaun Philips will remain in San Diego, but free agents Stephen Cooper and Brandon Siler are predicted to leave.

With these free agency moves, the Chargers could build an outstanding defense. Their gains at the LB position will help stop the run, and the addition of Bob Sanders and Marcus Gilchrist—along with Eric Weddle, Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason—will continue to lead the league in pass defense.

This defense will be put to the test against the powerful offenses of New England, Green Bay and Baltimore.

Still, with these offseason moves, the Chargers have most likely increased their number of wins by a few games, which can make all the difference. And now that the defense is set, San Diego must focus on a veteran RB and a few targets for Philip Rivers.

A.J. Smith has put a defense together that is ready to win a championship for the city of San Diego.