If you asked the average football fan which defensive line has two of the top four 4-3 defensive ends in terms of pass rushing productivity, it might take them a while to come up with the correct answer. Even if you gave them that it was the Panthers it would probably take them even longer to come up with both players’ names. Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy rank second and fourth in pass rushing productivity despite little to none of the fanfare that surrounds the likes of Julius Peppers and Mario Williams. If you read PFF you already know how good Johnson is, but what Hardy is doing is starting to rival his line mate. On Sunday he rushed from an end position 19 times and a tackle position 19 times to total three sacks, four stops and a hurry. Hardy’s versatility and ability to rush the passer as well as stop the run from any of the four down-lineman spots is amazing. He made multiple highlight reel plays on the day, and he really seems to be putting everything together in his third year as a pro.
Greg Hardy gets this one. His three sacks and two forced fumbles were hard to ignore. The Chargers gained only 164 total yards and Hardy and the defensive line were a big reason why.