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Joey Bosa: Chargers defense wants 'game on our shoulders' in 2020

Philip Rivers is gone, the doors will soon open to their brand-new home, and these Chargers still have to figure out a way to beat the defending Super Bowl champions twice in a season.

No worries, says defensive end Joey Bosa. Just turn to the defense in your time of need.

"We want the game on our shoulders," Bosa said, per NFL Network's Omar Ruiz.

The Chargers have spent multiple first-round picks bolstering their defense in recent years, first on Bosa in 2016 and then on premier safety Derwin James in 2018. The 2020 draft welcomed Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, and free agency saw the signings of veteran cornerback Chris Harris and interior defensive lineman Linval Joseph. Bosa thinks the new faces will help the defense properly shoulder any additional responsibility this season, saying the unit is "going to be dangerous."

When facing offenses like the one coming out of Kansas City, they'll need all the help they can get.

The return of James should be a massive boost for Los Angeles' defense. The All-Pro selection as a rookie played in just five games in his sophomore campaign of 2019 as the Chargers finished a disappointing 5-11 in Rivers' final campaign with the team.

"We missed Derwin (James) a hell of a lot last year," Bosa said, via The Athletic's Daniel Popper.

That final record afforded the Chargers a top-six first-round pick, though, which they spent on potential franchise quarterback Justin Herbert. He likely won't play immediately -- veteran Tyrod Taylor is on the roster to handle the job for now -- but the one down year might end up being the best thing that happened to a Chargers squad that is laden with talented youth and just handed Bosa a five-year, $135 million extension.

And there's always the chance Herbert shocks the world and ends up playing like a rookie Ben Roethlisberger.

"Who knows?" Bosa said, per the Los Angeles Times' Jeff Miller. "Maybe Herbert's going to be an absolute beast out there, throwing dimes left and right, and we could end up relying on his arm more and more throughout the year."

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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