On Sunday, the Washington Redskins will travel out to Los Angeles for the second time this season. However, this time it will be to face Philip Rivers and the Chargers who are making a bid to earn a playoff spot.
As it’s not a matchup we see that often, we’ve collaborated with our friends at Full Press Coverage Chargers to start a weekly “Know The Enemy”. Chargers contributor Thomas Herd (who’s from the UK) has answered the following questions to give us an idea about the Chargers.
With the offensive line being beat up, do you think the Chargers will be able to attack and throw off Kirk Cousins game?
This is a key battle on Sunday. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are two of the best pass rushers in the league, and they may both be in the top 5, depending who you talk to. Bosa is just relentless, he perfectly displayed that with a 4th quarter strip sack, in his last game. Ingram has been quieter of late. He doesn’t have a sack in his last five games, but that doesn’t mean to say he hasn’t been getting meaningful pressure. That being said, I expect at least a sack a piece.
The Redskins receivers haven’t had very productive games other than from Josh Doctson at times… what does the Chargers defense have to do to slow him down?
The Chargers have three very good corners in Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams and rookie Desmond King. I imagine Hayward will go one on one versus Doctson – in a lot a man to man coverage to attempt to shut him down. This secondary hasn’t conceded a 100-yard receiver all year, and they’re the only team to do so. I believe the Reskins have two this season, both from Jamison Crowder. The Bolts tend to play a lot of nickel and dime packages, which makes it even more difficult for teams to throw on this talented secondary.
The Chargers run defense is 31st in the league, with that being said, can they stop Washington’s run game?
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This is a strange one because if you look at the stats, the easy answer would be yes. However, during this three-game win streak, the leads that the Chargers have gained have meant that teams have abandoned the run early. For Washington, if they can keep it tight, or even have the lead, they should be able to control the clock against this Bolts defense. The fact that the Chargers often play with five or six DBs, often hampers their attempts to stop the run. It’s very unfortunate that Chris Thomspon is done for the year because I think he could have done a lot of damage in this game. Although, I do really like Samaje Perine, he’s the type of back I wanted the Chargers to take in last year’s draft.
Philip Rivers is very underrated, what’s he have to do this week to come away with what seems like a must-win game for L.A.?
Firstly, it definitely feels like a must-win game. With the schedule they have ahead of them, it’s in their own hands right now, which is a funny thing to say after their 0-4 start. For Rivers, it’s vital for him not to turn the football over. He’s only thrown 7 interceptions all season and 3 of those came in one game. So, for the most part, he’s done a good job in that respect. Also, Rivers needs to continue to trust his offensive line. Early in the year, he was seeing ghosts of previous OLs that he’s had. It’s an area where the team has improved on, especially in pass protection. The group has only allowed 13 sacks on the year, which is the best in the NFL.
Washington has already won against one L.A. team, can they play spoiler Sunday?
Oh, it’s very possible. Even with the form that the Chargers are in, literally anything can happen. Like I said previously, if they can get a lead, control the clock and put pressure on the Bolts, they have a huge chance. And, if it comes down to special teams, the team are on their fourth kicker of the year because of multiple disasters. I’ve never seen a team lose so many games, in completely different ways.
Lastly, what is your score prediction for this game?
Thanks to Thomas Herd for answering our questions. You can follow Thomas on Twitter @chargers_uk.