The Los Angeles Chargers are a very good team. Even without Keenan Allen and Mike Williams for parts of the season, the decline of JOLD Jackson, and Jerry Tiller’s horrible play on the D-line — thankfully he got it give up – The Chargers have played their way to a 5-3 record and are very close to the championship at the halfway point of the season.
This weekend, Bolts What does playing the San Francisco 49ers in SoCal look like an interesting matchup between two low-profile Super Bowl contenders. Reality, though, San Francisco should absolutely mop the floor with L.A. Not because Chargers’ profiles are better than they actually are performancebut rather it’s because the 49ers coordinate exceptionally well.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the element everyone is talking about – the Charger’s defense. It’s no secret that Los Angeles implements a run stop just as much as the NFL enforces rough-and-tumble enforcement against passersby. The addition of Khalil Mack to the season is supposed to mitigate this problem, as Mack has been one of the best full-backs for many years. He played well, but the rest of the D-line underperformed and those difficulties were amplified by the absence of an All-Pro passer Joey Bosa. The charger is allowing the most yards per dash of any team in the NFL (5.7). They are second in the NFL in EPA allows every rush play at the same time, only ahead of the Cleveland Browns in that division.
Now, Ningers is not an elite rush team this year. In fact, they’re below average in both EPA and total yards, but make no mistake, the 49ers’ identity is a run-heavy team and with Christian McCaffrey gearing up for his third game with the teamSan Fran’s The barrage of attack might be too much for the Charger to handle, even without a Trent Williams left tackle.
Now, the 49ers’ secondary is a bit doubtful. While many of the Ninefan followers are expecting full-back Jason Verrett to return soon, instead he suffers End of season Achilles wound in fact this week. Charger Midfielder Justin Herbert should have an easy time dissecting that secondary, but with both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams lost this matchit could come to Joshua Palmer, DeAndre Carter and Gerald Everett to bring LA attack passes. I don’t believe any of them will cause serious damage.
The Chargers’ rushing attack hasn’t been any better. While Austin Ekeler is one of the best backs in the league, he hasn’t been very efficient as a ball carrier. Rather, he’s done most of his damage through the air. That said, San Fran linebacker Fred Warner is one of the best in the NFL at following the ball out of the backfield and making open-field tackles. Ekeler could be in for heavy usage this game, but I wouldn’t expect him to get very far very often. Could he break one or two plays for large gains/touchdowns? Sure, but the 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL at defending plays out of the backfield.
According to OddsChecker US, the bettors disagree with my point. Although the betting line shifted in favor of the 49ers throughout the week – from +5.5 at the open to +7 today – 65% of the bets were in favor of Los Angeles. This is the first time since Week 3 of 2021 in the game against Kansas City that the Chargers are the weaker team or worse. Perhaps that solid track record is what is driving bettors towards Bolts. Or maybe it’s the Charger’ the domination of the 49 people in the 21st century. LA has won four of them last five games against San Francisco. However, past results do not indicate future results. Brandon Staley wasn’t even the Chargers head coach the last time these two teams played.
Focusing on short passes, running power and efficiency in the back yard, the 49ers are arguably the worst team the Chargers could face all year. Can they win? Sure. This is the NFL and anyone can win on any day. Also, I’ll never be 100% sure about betting on Justin Herbert, but by every measure imaginable, San Fran should win this game. While bettors seem certain that seven points is too much for the Charger to lose, I almost believe the two digits loss is not out of the question. Then again, the 49ers have a knack for losing games they shouldn’t – just ask the Bears and Falcons – so maybe I’m reading too much into this. I doubt it though.