Chargers:Defense needs Butler to return to form
During the last offseason, the Chargers re-signed inside linebacker Donald Butler to a seven-year contract worth up to $51 million in hopes of him becoming the anchor in the middle of their defense. Three-quarters of the way through the season and the Chargers are likely a bit concerned about their investment.
Currently, Butler ranks second-to-last in our ILB rankings with a -17.1 overall grade; Butler also ranks near the bottom in Run Stop Percentage for qualifying ILBs, recording a stop on only 4.2% of his run snaps. His Tackling Efficiency in coverage also been a problem with a missed tackle in roughly every four attempts.
The Chargers seemed to have noticed Butler’s struggles, and since the bye week his snap counts have dropped considerably with more of a rotation between Butler, Kavell Conner and Andrew Gachkar. Butler’s two best games this season have come in the last three weeks, so perhaps the competition for snaps is fueling some improvement.
The Chargers have to be hoping for a return to 2011 and 2012, when Butler ranked 16th and 17th respectively in our overall ILBs rankings – and during their streak to the divisional playoffs last year, when he was in the Top 15.