The Los Angeles Chargers and rookie quarterback Justin Herbert will head to Tampa Bay to face well-seasoned veteran Tom Brady and his new team.
L.A. is coming off a tough loss to the Panthers a week ago, in a game they didn’t have any business losing. They came up short at the end, though Justin Herbert did show some positive signs of improvement. He made his first start in Week 2 without knowing he would start as the National Anthem started. Despite an 0-2 record, Herbert has an incredibly bright future. The Chargers as an organization historically struggle to close out games, so the hope will be to run the score up this week.
Tampa Bay, on the other hand, has picked up consecutive wins since the season-opening defeat. The loss may be to the Bucs’ advantage because Tom Brady has never missed the Super Bowl in a season where his team took a Week 1 loss. While those appearances only happened in New England, it’s an interesting stat to keep in mind.
The Buccaneers are listed as seven-point favorites in this one. The over/under is set at 42.5. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 PM Eastern.
Chargers Looking to Get Back to .500
After a few tight losses in consecutive weeks, the Bolts will look to return to the win column. Following the departure of Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler has stepped up and continues to make big plays week in and week out. Rookie Joshua Kelley has also rushed for 40+ yards in each of the past three games.
Keenan Allen is catching passes as well as any receiver in the NFL, but the Chargers have scored just 52 points in three games. They will have to score more to keep pace in a tight AFC West race.
Time of possession will be critical to the Charger’s success. They have put up more than 400 yards of offense with no turnovers in the last two games. Keeping the ball out of Brady’s hands will be vital to keeping Los Angeles in the game.
The Chargers have not yet allowed a quarterback to throw for 300 yards against them, and aim to keep that trend going for another week.
Bucs Need Bigger Lead
In first place after four games, a win today would be huge for the Buccaneers. The other NFC South teams have been slow out of the gate, so a victory Sunday could lead to separation in the standings.
Leonard Fournette is still finding his footing with his new team. He signed with Tampa Bay after being released by Jacksonville shortly before the season. Fournette had a dominant performance in Week 2, running for 103 yards and two touchdowns, but was held to just 15 yards rushing in Week 3.
The Buccaneers have had to deal with injuries to Chris Godwin, but it hasn’t slowed Brady down. He has looked comfortable with his new team, incorporating Scotty Miller (who leads the Bucs in receiving yards), Rob Gronkowski, and Justin Watson into an already-loaded Tampa Bay offense. A lot of that credit goes to Bruce Arians, who has helped ease him into a new system for the first time in two decades.
This game may come down to how well Tampa Bay’s defense can slow Ekeler and Allen on the other side.
Chargers Pull Through
Despite being seven-point underdogs and dealing with significant injuries, the Chargers will snap their two-game skid with a win. It’s a risky play, but it’s a play I think will pay off.
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