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Chargers’ All-Time Sack Leaders
The Chargers began play as the Los Angeles Chargers in 1960 in the AFL, then moved to San Diego in 1961. They then merged into the NFL in 1970 and have been a very competitive team most of the time. In fact, it’s almost crazy to think this team has only been to the Super Bowl once, losing to the 49ers in the mid-90’s. But not only do the Chargers have a rich history of offense (Air Coryell, LT), but they have always boasted stout defenses. Here is a short list of the Chargers’ all-time leaders in sacks, keeping in mind sacks didn’t become an official statistic until 1982:
Leslie O’Neal (105.5)—Defensive end/linebacker Leslie O’Neal played for the Chargers most of his career, from 1986 to 1995, and he ranks first in team history with 105.5 sacks. O’Neal made the Pro Bowl six times as a Charger and his best season was 1992. That year, he had a career high 17 sacks, and added one fumble recovery and 78 tackles.
Lee Williams (65.5)—Defensive lineman Lee Williams played in San Diego from 1984 to 1990, and he ranks second in franchise history with 65.5 sacks. Williams had a career best 15 sacks in 1986 and he added a fumble recovery that year as well. He went to the Pro Bowl twice while with the Chargers.
Junior Seau (47)—Linebacker Junior Seau played for the Chargers from 1994 to 2002 and he ranks third in the team’s history with 47 sacks. Seau had a career high 7 sacks three times, and one of those, the 1996 season, was arguably his best. That year, Seau was a first team All Pro (one of five times he had that honor) and added to the 7 sacks 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 3 fumble recoveries, 110 tackles and 28 assists.
Raylee Johnson (46)—Defensive end Raylee Johnson played in San Diego from 1993 to 2003, and he ranks fourth in Chargers’ history with 46 sacks. Johnson had a career high 10.5 sacks in 1999, but his best season was arguably 2001. That year, Johnson had 9.5 sacks, and added 1 pass deflected, 2 fumble recoveries including one for a touchdown, 27 tackles and 10 assists.
Shaun Phillips (45.5)—Defensive end Shaun Phillips has played his entire career in San Diego so far, from 2004 until now as I write this in 2010. Phillips ranks fifth in franchise history with 45.5 sacks but is climbing fast on this list. His best season was arguably 2006, when Phillips had a career high 11.5 sacks, and added 8 passes deflected, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 44 tackles and 20 assists.