Sure, it’s only the preseason, but no team really wants to end up 0-4 when it’s all said and done. The Los Angeles Chargers have only scored 30 points this preseason and playing at home on Saturday night would love nothing more than to get their first win of the new year. Can they do it?
Game: Seattle Seahawks (1-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
When: 8:00 PM ET, August 24th, 2019
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California
Current Line: LAC +3.5 Total: 40.5
TV Coverage: NFL Network
Well, it’s unlikely as Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn is likely to not play any of his starters, except for CB Casey Hayward. That means QB Philip Rivers will not play on Saturday night. With RB Melvin Gordon still a training camp holdout, the Chargers offense might not be able to produce much more than its current 15 points-per-game average.
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The Chargers are already hurting with the absence of Gordon, OT Russell Okung, S Derwin James, and WR Keenan Allen. James, who needs foot surgery, will miss about four months. Only Allen is expected to be ready for the regular season opener.
Lynn had stated back in June that he would be very conservative in the preseason. Many teams choose to use Week 3 as the one week to give their starters some game reps. The Chargers have simply had too many injuries in prior preseasons, so Lynn will play it safe.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, are slated to play their starters for most, if not all, of the first half. Quarterback Russell Wilson said he is preparing to play into the third quarter. Don’t expect it though. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has not said how long he plans to play his starters, but you can bet it won’t be all that long.
How does all that affect Saturday’s outcome? Great question. Well, Seattle has had a hard time stopping the run. The Seahawks gave up 137 rushing yards in a loss to Minnesota last week. The Chargers need to use Austin Ekeler and Justin Johnson to make sure they have a capable backup for Gordon should he hold out during the regular season.
Playing at home is a slight advantage for the Chargers. It’s not the same as the regular season, but remember the Bolts have beaten Seattle in three of the last four during the real season. Seattle is just 3-6 in their last nine games against an AFC opponent (they are also 1-4 ATS in their last five against Los Angeles).
That said, we are calling for the upset. The Chargers win at home and avoid an 0-4 preseason.