Neither the Carolina Panthers nor the San Diego Chargers have had much to get excited about this season, but both are coming off impressive wins over playoff contenders as they prepare to clash Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium. Carolina has won two of three after upsetting NFC South champion Atlanta 30-20 last week, and now the Panthers are trying to win consecutive games for the first time this season with coach Ron Rivera possibly coaching for his job.
The Chargers have denied reports that they've already determined coach Norv Turner and general manager A.J. Smith will be out after the season, but barring an incredible finish, it doesn't look good. San Diego hasn't won two straight since opening the season with wins over Oakland and Tennessee, but it has a chance after last week's 34-24 victory at Pittsburgh. The Panthers have won three of four all-time meetings, including a 26-24 road win in the most recent contest in 2008.
TV: 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Chargers -3, O/U 45
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (4-9): Carolina quarterback Cam Newton has begun to salvage his second season as a pro, and he had a huge game against the Falcons, becoming the first player in NFL history with at least 250 passing yards (287) and 100 rushing yards (116) to go with a passing touchdown (2) and a rushing score. That was part of Carolina's season-high 475 total yards, as the offense has come back to life over the past three games. Running back Jonathan Stewart is doubtful with an ankle injury, which means DeAngelo Williams is likely to carry the load again after compiling 112 scrimmage yards and a touchdown last week.
ABOUT THE CHARGERS (5-8): Like Newton, San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is trying to turn around a subpar season, and he took a big step against the Steelers with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Danario Alexander has emerged as Rivers' favorite target lately, averaging 98.8 receiving yards over the past five games with five touchdowns during that stretch. The ground game has struggled recently, failing to break 100 yards in four consecutive games, but the defense, which ranks ninth in total yards allowed, has forced five turnovers in the past two games.
1. Newton has passed for seven touchdowns and no interceptions and rushed for three scores over the past three games.
2. Rivers is 24-4 as a starter in December with 51 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
3. San Diego TE Antonio Gates needs one touchdown reception to match Hall of Famer Lance Alworth (81) for the most in team history.
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Los Angeles Chargers
- UndisclosedOut indefinitely | I-R
Square is on the active Non-Football Injury list with an unspecified ailment, and there is no timetable for return.
- IllnessOut indefinitely | I-R
Meeks has been placed on the active Non-Football Illness list due as he is fighting off an ailment. There is no timetable for recovery.
- PersonalI-R | I-R
Miller has been placed on the Injured Reserve/Opt-Out list after informing the team that he will sit out the entire 2020 season.
- UndisclosedI-R | I-R
Ferris has reverted to the injured reserve list after clearing waivers with an unspecified injury.
- KneeI-R | I-R
Palardy is on the Injured Reserve/Non-Football Injury list due to a season-ending torn ACL.
- AnkleOut indefinitely | I-R
Little has been placed on the active PUP list with ankle and knee injuries. He will miss an undetermined length of time.