Expect points early and often, as the Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) take their 8th-ranked offense to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to do battle with the Los Angeles Rams’ (2-0) 5th-ranked offense in Week 3 (September 23, 2018 at 4:05pm EST). The Rams opened as 7-point favorites.
Los Angeles Chargers Outlook
Los Angeles’ offense has not had any issues moving the ball this year. They average 329.0 yards per game through the air (3rd), and 116.0 per game on the ground (11th). The Chargers ability to attack in multiple ways has led to a lot of points, as they’re scoring 29.5 points per game (8th).
Philip Rivers has been exceptional under center for Los Angeles this year. He’s completing 73.1% of his passes while tossing for 680 yards and 6 TDs, with just 1 interception – a 119.6 passer rating. Rivers is fresh off a solid outing against the Bills, posting 256 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.
— NFL (@NFL) September 17, 2018
Meanwhile, Austin Ekeler has actually led the team in rushing, recording 116 yards on the ground. Melvin Gordon has certainly been a weapon thus far, but most of his damage has come as a receiver. Gordon is only averaging 3.8 yards per carry in 2018, while he’s caught a team-high 15 balls for 140 yards, adding three total touchdowns.
Foot injury expected to sideline Chargers’ standout Joey Bosa into October, per sources. More on ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown at 10 am.https://t.co/nfW39pqMpL
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 16, 2018
Los Angeles’ defense had a much better showing in Week 2 than Week 1. But they were also playing what looks like the worst offense in the league, compared to one of the most explosive. So it’s hard to say any adjustments were made.
The Chargers only cede 232.5 yards per game through the air (13th), and 95.0 rushing (14th). But they’ve given up a lot of points, surrendering 29 per game (25th). With Joey Bosa not expected to return in the next couple of weeks, LA will need others to start stepping up on defense.
Chargers vs Rams Statistical Comparison
|29.5 (8th)||PPG||33.5 (5th)|
|445 (3rd)||YPG||398.5 (7th)|
|116 (11th)||Rushing YPG||115 (13th)|
|329 (3rd)||Passing YPG||283.5 (10th)|
|29 (25th)||PPG Allowed||6.5 (1st)|
|327.5 (9th)||YPG Allowed||266 (3rd)|
|95 (14th)||Rushing YPG Allowed||74.5 (5th)|
|232.5 (13th)||Passing YPG Allowed||191.5 (6th)|
|0 (T-13th)||Turnover Differential||+3 (T-2nd)|
Los Angeles Rams Outlook
The Chargers defense has their work cut out for them this week against a Rams offense that is scoring points at will. Thanks to a balanced offensive attack, the Rams are averaging 33.5 points per game (fifth). They rank 13th in rushing (115.0 yards per game) and 10th in passing (283.5 yards per game).
Jared Goff has been phenomenal for Los Angeles this season, throwing for 587 yards with 3 TDs and one INT. He’s receiving great production from his pass-catchers, particularly Brandin Cooks (246 receiving yards), but has also benefited from being able to count on Todd Gurley II to carry the load when necessary.
Gurley II has churned out 150 yards on the ground and another 70 receiving, adding four total touchdowns this year, making the Rams’ offense look like a work of art.
On the other side of the ball, Los Angeles’ defense has been extremely stingy. They’re giving up just 6.5 points per game, the fewest in the NFL.
This is what happens when your defense has no glaring vulnerabilities. The Rams only allow 191.5 yards per game through the air (6th) and 74.5 on the ground (5th). Philip Rivers and company will have to work for every yard this week.