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Anthony Lynn ‘confident’ Gus Bradley can fix Chargers’ defensive breakdowns

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees dives over the Chargers' defensive line to score a touchdown.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees dives over the Chargers’ defensive line to score a touchdown during the Chargers’ 30-27 overtime loss Monday.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

Over the first 29 minutes of each of their last two games, the Chargers have surrendered 10 points.

In the final 31-plus minutes of those games, they’ve given up a combined 58 points.

In losing 17-point leads to both Tampa Bay and New Orleans, the Chargers’ defensive struggles began in the final seconds of the first half.

The Buccaneers and Saints scored touchdowns with, respectively, 22 and 14 seconds remaining in the second quarter to ignite their comebacks.

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So the Chargers sit at 1-4, having dropped four in a row after their 30-27 overtime defeat against the Saints. Coach Anthony Lynn was asked Monday if he thinks defensive coordinator Gus Bradley can fix what’s wrong.

One of the few things Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert hasn’t done is win a game and Monday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints continued the trend.

“He’s done it before,” Lynn said. “I’m confident he can do it again.”

Perhaps the most damning moment for the defense came when Drew Brees hit tight end Jared Cook for a 41-yard fourth-quarter score that converted a third-and-14 situation.

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“We got beat in coverage,” Lynn said. “That’s all there was to it. They beat us. Their guy executed and our guy didn’t. That’s inexcusable, but that’s what happened.”

Cook raced past linebackers Kenneth Murray Jr. and Kyzir White and beat safety Nasir Adderley to the goal line. Both Murray and White glanced at Adderley immediately thereafter, with White extending his arms in apparent disbelief.

A wrenching Chargers season continued Monday when they blew a 17-point, first-half lead for the second consecutive week in a 30-27 overtime loss against the New Orleans Saints.

Brees looked off Adderley toward the right — where another Saints receiver was running — and pump-faked in that direction before going back to the left to Cook.

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“I was just playing the quarterback,” Adderley said. “I pretty much played what I saw. I could do better getting over the top. I’ll definitely take a hard look at it and look to improve.”

The Chargers’ secondary could have yet another injury to overcome. Cornerback Casey Hayward was unable to finish the game because of an undisclosed problem.

Lynn indicated that he’d likely know more about Hayward on Tuesday.


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