The Los Angeles Chargers have no easy task against the Seattle Seahawks and it will be the secondary that ultimately wins, or loses, the game for the Chargers.
The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off the bye week in midst of a four-game winning streak that has put the team right up among the NFL’s best teams with a 5-2 record. It helps that the Chargers’ two losses have come against the two best teams in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs.
With a win in week nine, it will be the first time since 2006 that the Chargers started the season with six wins in the team’s first eight games played. The Chargers went on to go 14-2 that season, losing the games in Week 4 and in Week 7.
6-2 is very, very different than 5-3.
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Standing in the Chargers’ way of this immensely hot is the Seattle Seahawks, a dangerous team that has exceeded many people’s expectations this season and enters the contest with a 4-3 record.
What makes this game even more challenging is the fact that it is in Seattle, although, the Chargers are used to playing with a visiting crowd at the StubHub Center, so maybe the team is ready for it.
Seattle is coming off of a pretty dominant 28-14 win in Detroit over the Lions and has played every team tough this season.
The Los Angeles Rams narrowly escaped Seattle with a 33-31 win in Week 6. The Seahawks other two losses came in the first two weeks of the season.
While it is not the Legion of Boom, the Seattle defense has been stout this season and opposing offenses have below league average yardage against the defense. As for the offense, Seattle is very bad, ranking 30th in the league in total yardage and 29th in points per game.
That could be a recipe for disaster for the Hawks, who are coming up against a team that has a ton of weapons on the offense and can outslug a relatively sluggish offense.
However, the Tennessee Titans gave the Seahawks the blueprint for success against the Chargers: stay on the field as long as possible and limit Philip Rivers from getting in a groove. Tennesee did this by relying on Dion Lewis in the running and the passing game.
The Titans succeeded in attacking a soft Chargers coverage and exploiting the lack of speed in some areas to extend plays an extra five yards. With speedster Tyler Lockett and a rotation of quality backs, the Seahawks have the pieces to make this gameplan work.
That is why the Chargers’ biggest friend, or even enemy, in this game is going to be the secondary. The secondary is going to have to give its best performance of the year thus far and lockdown and attack the Seattle receivers before plays can develop.
The Los Angeles Chargers have a good pass rush, even without Joey Bosa, so the team will force Russell Wilson to run and won’t let him step up into the pocket. From there, the secondary has to avoid a broken play turning into a big gain.
Not only can the Hawks drive down the field against this defense but the team could legitimately wear out this defense with a few big plays. This will keep Philip Rivers off the field for as long as possible, which will be an even harder thing to overcome with the loud 12th Man screaming during the huddle.
Watch the cornerbacks and safeties on Sunday. If you see a secondary that is thriving, chances are the Los Angeles Chargers can escape with a big win in Seattle. If not, Charger fans could be in for a very long day.