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Joey Bosa's message to Chargers D: 'If the ball is thrown at you, you have to make plays'

Pro Bowl pass rusherJoey Bosa had some choice words about the Chargers defense ahead of Week 11.

Following Thursday's practice, Bosa, who's missed the last two games with a concussion, voiced his frustrations with L.A.'s inability to force turnovers so far this season.

As the leader of a unit that's tied for 27th in the NFL in takeaways -- four interceptions, four forced fumbles (three recovered) -- Bosa was not shy about demanding more of his teammates.

"When you are presented opportunities, I have said this five times, I'm not asking you to do a cartwheel and then backflip it and pick it off between your legs with one arm then moonwalk into the end zone or some (expletive). If the ball is thrown at you, you have to make plays," Bosa said, via Fernando Ramirez of Sports Illustrated. "I am not pointing fingers, but, if you want to win and be a great team, you got to call it out and you got to tell it how it is."

Of the Chargers' seven defeats in 2020, five have been decided by five points or less; their last three games, all losses, were decided by a combined margin of 15 points. One has to wonder how some of the outcomes could've been affected by a turnover or two.

The Chargers secondary has allowed 18 TD passes to three INTs, and are one of two teams (Washington) to allow at least eight 40-plus yard completions this season.

In terms of the pass rush, Uchenna Nwosu and Jerry Tillery (6.5 sacks, 37 tackles combined) have stood out at times. But the subpar and inconsistent play of the unit overall, most glaringly Melvin Ingram -- INT, eight tackles, zero sacks in six games -- has left a lot to be desired.

Being the imposing player that he is, Bosa, who owns 4.5 sacks and 18 tackles, is more than capable of upping his contributions on that front. He made it clear that he's not excluding himself from the criticism.

"I always want to say it starts with me because I'm as big of a culprit as anybody," he said. "Two or three of my sacks this year, you see me holding on for dear life when I can easily reach out and go for the ball. I need to do a better job with that. When the balls are thrown at you or any opportunity, you can't make silly mistakes. You just have to capitalize on the opportunities."

Sunday's clash with the 0-9 Jets should provide Bosa and Co. a great chance to grow and better learn how to consistently make winning plays.

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