loss tie had plenty of blame to pass around. I personally pegged David Johnson as the main potential foe in the season opener. He played a role but is closer to winning Best Supporting Actor than being the lead. Many predicted Kyler Murray... not a bad choice. Hardly any expected old man Larry Fitzgerald (despite having an awesome name like GERALD within his last name) to be such a force. If anyone guessed Matt Patricia being Detroit’s biggest Week 1 biggest enemy, you deserve a cookie.
Let’s try to forget the Lions kissed their sister last week and look ahead to the Chargers. This was a team I thought had Super Bowl aspirations before a myriad of injuries (especially to their budding star safety Derwin James) and Melvin Gordon doing his best Le’Veon Bell impersonation. But they still have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. So much so, they are favored (by 2.5 at the time this was written) despite being on the road.
Here are a few contenders on our suspect list. Future Hall of Fame baby maker Philip Rivers (he’s also a decent quarterback). Keenan Allen is one of best receivers in the league—a phenom at route running. Despite not having Melvin Gordon last week the Chargers running back situation didn’t skip a beat as Austin Ekeler had a career game (154 total yards and touchdowns). But their top enemy is on the other side of the ball.
I really want to cheat this time around. Instead of listing a singular enemy, I wanted to identify an entire group as the biggest threat. It’s hard to separate their two dynamic pass rushers in Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa. Pair that with the subpar performance by Rick Wagner—he has one every year. Hopefully he got it out of his system—and the horrid opener by Taylor Decker, this could be the main reason Detroit could drop to 0-1-1. But I’ll play ball, list the lesser known of the two and go with Melvin Ingram, since many are more aware of the threat of Bosa.
Don’t be fooled by the Ohio State ties or top draft status of Joey Bosa. Melvin Ingram is just as much of a threat. After a slow to his career he has averaged 9.0 sacks a season over the last four years. What’s even more worrisome is the difference in effectiveness Matthew Stafford had in Week 1 with a clean pocket vs. pressure. This is pretty much the case with all quarterbacks but most had better protection than Stafford during Week 1.
Matthew Stafford had a 63.9 QB rating when under pressure. Checked in at 143.6 when he was kept clean.— kyle meinke (@kmeinke) September 10, 2019
Okay men, let’s rally the troops. We have our top enemy in sight. Let’s also not forget his partner in crime (Bosa), as they are a tandem. Think of the Wet Bandits from “Home Alone” fame only these guys are not idiots. They are a not-so-lean, mean, QB-killing machine.
But are they, in fact, Public Enemy Number 1 in your opinion? Or do you have someone else in mind?