The youth movement up front on the Chargers’ defense has been successful this season, as San Diego’s strength has been defending the run. A big part of that has been second-year DE Corey Liuget, who is a tackle away from surpassing all of his rookie year totals.
Liuget has started all eight games and notched four tackles in Thursday night’s key win over the Chiefs. He also recorded his sixth pass defensed on the season, reading a swing pass perfectly and knocking it down. Liuget’s six PDs are second on the team, and he’s a defensive lineman.
We heard in the offseason that the Chargers wanted to go young on the D-line — which helps explain why they parted ways with veteran Luis Castillo and why veteran Antonio Garay was activated for the first time this season on Thursday night — and they expected a Year Two leap from Liuget. The D-line has a deep rotation, but Liuget led the unit with 42 snaps (69 percent) on Thursday. Jamaal Charles was held to 39 yards on 12 carries. If you subtract Matt Cassel’s 37 yards on six scrambles, the Chiefs’ rushing average was a paltry 3.2 yards per carry.
Liuget, who lines up at right end, is a big reason for San Diego’s stout run “D”. Opponents are averaging 1.83 yards per carry off left guard and 2.8 yards per carry off left tackle, finding it difficult to run in Liuget’s direction.