After beating Russell Wilson not even a full week ago, the Los Angeles Chargers turn around and must face Russ’ former team. At first glance, this should be an easy victory against the QB-less Seahawks. But, that’s what us Chargers fans thought against the Jaguars, too. Nothing is for granted in the NFL. Now, the Seahawks are one of the least scary teams in the NFL right now. But, it’s clear that they’re no dumpster fire, like many thought they’d be. A poor outing could easily result in a devastating loss.
Here’s how the Chargers can not only win this game and trudge forward to a nice 5-2 record, but dominate the rebuilding Seahawks and get a taste of what it’s like to not need a last-second play to go your way. Not every win needs to be close, Staley – I hope you know that. Here’s how LA can do it:
Chargers Key # 1: Stop Kenneth Walker III
It was a really sad loss for Seattle to lose Rashaad Penny, as he was not only off to a great start – but the poor guy has just had injury after injury. In steps second round rookie Kenneth Walker III. He’s young, and off to a solid start in the league. While running backs are no longer a must-have in the first round of the draft, it says a lot about Walker’s talent that he was drafted in the second. And that potential is already starting to flash. And, I think all of us Chargers fans know one of our empirical Achilles heel. The run game. Stop the rookie early and often, and force Geno to make plays. That’s a recipe for victory, in and of itself. The first half of the Chargers/Browns game looked like the Bolts defense of old – getting bullied and ran all over.
But, the second half showed a team with heart, a team that keyed in on the run and put a stop to the nonsense. This week, a very similar strategy must be taken – Kenneth Walker and Deejay Dallas are big & physical, but if the Chargers D could stop Chubb/Hunt, anything is possible…
Chargers Key #2: Make Geno Smith Beat You
This isn’t to say that Geno is a threat – I think that point has already been established. However, he does have a solid 1-2 punch on the outside in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Dangerous, really – it’s just a matter of if Geno can make the throws. And what’s one way to ensure that doesn’t happen? Put the pressure on him. Geno has a solid set of legs, but he’s also aging – and even in his “prime”, he wasn’t a dual threat. Given the poor cornerback play of late for the Chargers, it’s beginning to look like the Bolts might as well just gamble and bring the house – because that did seem to work on Monday against Russ.
Geno has a history full of picks – which could mean a big day for the Chargers DB’s who are in need of a confidence boost to get back on track. DK and Lockett are no slouch at receiver, and if they can get enough separation, even Geno Smith can connect. But, if the DB’s can be sticky enough to hold them long enough for Mack & Co. to get home – the Chargers will be just fine…
Chargers Key #3: Attack the Seahawks Defense
Gone are the days of the legion of boom – quite literally, given that the last member of the gang in Bobby Wagner just departed this past offseason. Now, the Seahawks defense averages 27.2 points per game against them, which ranks 29th in the league; not too far from the worst. And while the Chargers haven’t quite gotten into their groove as of yet on offense, they’ve still had some high-scoring performances – notching 24 vs the Chiefs, 34 against the Texans, and 30 against the Browns. Not too bad. And even, let’s say, the Chargers defense has another poor defensive performance – it’s safe to say that Herbert, Ekeler, and Mike Dub could easily carry the Chargers to victory in a shoot out.
And, with how well the Chargers’ run game has played lately, it would be huge for the Bolts to run the ball effectively, and control the game. It’s not like the Chargers need to come out and take shots downfield like they used to – that’s not their identity right now. For some reason, it’s not working – so don’t force it if it’s not there. Let’s see if Ekeler/Kelley/Michel can take a page out of the Browns’ book and have themselves a dominant day.
The Most Important Factor
All in all, it’s safe to say that the Chargers should have this in the bag – but us fans have said that before, only to find ourselves disappointed to the core when the final whistle is blown. Asides from the matchups and gameplans that work in LA’s favor – what’’s the biggest factor here?
If the Chargers come out expecting to win, they probably won’t. Gone are the days of the 0-16 Lions, or the Gardner Minshew-led Jaguars – this year seems to be as even across the board as we’ve seen. Sure, there’s still the fair share of expectation-less teams, but even when you look at the “losers” – the Lions, the Falcons, the Texans – they all have talent. It’s the NFL, for crying out loud!
The Chargers must come out firing, intense, and put this one to bed early – much like they did against the Texans. Only, the effort must remain throughout all four quarters. In a stacked AFC West, and what’ll be an even more competitive AFC Wild Card race – every win is crucial, therefore each game should be treated as such. The effort that was put forth against the Jaguars – flat, calm, cocky – that won’t fly. All in all, let’s just hope the Chargers learned their lesson, and learned it early.
This’ll be the test.
For More Great Football Content
Follow us on Twitter at @GridironHeroics for more great content. We appreciate you taking time to read our articles. To interact more with our community and keep up to date on the latest in Football news, JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP by CLICKING HERE