Launch the CMC with a rigid arm Image: Getty Images
Los Angeles Chargers is a very good soccer team. Even in the absence of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams for part of the season, JC Jackson’s demise and Jerry Tiller’s disastrous D-line play – luckily just got a annulled Chargers have made their way to the 5: 3 record and are very much at the forefront of the division mid-season.
This weekend, the Bolts will face the San Francisco 49ers at SoCal in what looks to be a fun duel between two weaker Super Bowl rivals. In fact, though, San Francisco should absolutely wipe the LA floor. Not because the Chargers’ record is better than their actual performance, but rather because the 49ers fit together phenomenally well.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room, the factor everyone talks about – Defense Against Charging. It’s no secret that Los Angeles is as good at stopping a run as the NFL is at forcing passersby. The addition of Khalil Mack in the off-season was supposed to alleviate the problem, as Mack had been one of the best defenders of the advantage for many years. He was good, but the rest of the D-line was weak, and that struggle was amplified by the lack of an All-Pro rusher, Joey Bosa. Chargers allow for the highest number of yards to attack any team in the NFL (5.7). They rank second in the NFL in EPA allowed on rush play as well, just ahead of the Cleveland Browns in this department.
Now the Nines were not an elite rush team this year. In fact, they were below average in both EPA and total yards, but make no mistake, the identity of the 49ers is a hard run team and Christian McCaffrey is preparing for his third game against the team, Fran’s San Rushing attack can be too hard for the chargeers. even in the absence of Trent Williams’ left attack.
Now the secondary 49ers are a little suspect. While many faithful Nines expected defender Jason Verrett to return soon, he instead suffered from Achilles’ injury at the end of the season in practice this week. The charging playmaker Justin Herbert should have an easy time dealing with the wrecked secondary, but both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams miss this game, it could come down to Joshua Palmer, DeAndre Carter and Gerald Everett to launch the attack in Los Angeles. I don’t trust any of them to do serious damage.
The rushing attack of the charging people was no better. While Austin Ekeler is one of the league’s best defenders, he hasn’t been very successful as a ball carrier. Rather, most of the damage was in the air. That said, San Fran defender Fred Warner is one of the best in the NFL at following the ball from the back and performing open field tackles. Ekeler can be used extensively in this game, but I wouldn’t expect him to venture very often. Will he be able to pause a game or two to make big gains / touchdowns? Sure, but the 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL at defensive games off the field.
According OddsChecker USAplayers do not agree with my opinions. Despite the bet line shifting in favor of the 49ers during the week – from +5.5 at the opening to +7 today – 65 percent of moneyline bets went in favor of Los Angeles. This is the first time since week 3 of 2021 against Kansas City the Chargers have been weak on touchdowns or worse. Perhaps this solid story is what pushes players towards the Bolts. Or maybe it’s Chargers’ dominance over the 49ers in the 21st century. LA have won four of the last five against San Francisco. However, the results so far do not indicate future results. Brandon Staley wasn’t even Chargers head coach when the two teams last played.
With an emphasis on short passes, power runs and off-field efficiency, the 49ers are arguably the worst team the Chargers have faced all year. Could they win? Absolutely. This is the NFL and anyone can win every day. Besides, I will never be 100% sure of a bet against Justin Herbert, but in all respects San Fran should win this game. While bettors seem confident that seven points is too much for loaders to lose, I almost believe that a double-digit loss is not out of the question. 49ers, on the other hand, have a knack for losing games they shouldn’t – just ask Bears and Falcons – so maybe I read too much of it. However, I doubt it.