LA Chargers News

Chargers vs. Rams: Breaking down the key matchups in ‘Battle of Los Angeles’

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws a pass against the St. Louis Rams at Qualcomm Stadium on November 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers throws a pass against the St. Louis Rams at Qualcomm Stadium on November 23, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Running back Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams carries in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 16: Running back Todd Gurley #30 of the Los Angeles Rams carries in the first quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Rams’ rushing attack vs. Chargers’ run defense

The Chargers were absolutely horrendous against the run last season, easily one of the worst in the league. Through two games this season, the run defense has been considerably better, allowing 95 yards per game on the ground.

However, this will be a much bigger challenge.

The Rams have arguably the best pure running back in football in Todd Gurley.

In Week 1 against the Raiders, he cracked the 100-yard rushing mark and last week against the Cardinals, he found the end zone three times. He is a real weapon and one the Chargers have to at least slow down if they intend to win this game.

Linebackers Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown, Kyzir White and Uchenna Nwosu are going to be key in this game. Gurley frequently gets to the second level of the defense and these linebackers need to be ready to meet him near the line of scrimmage to prevent him from doing a ton of damage. Defensive tackles Brandon Mebane, Darius Philon and Justin Jones need to be able to get a strong push against the Rams’ offensive line in order for these linebackers to have the opportunity to tackle Gurley and limit the amount of yards he racks up.

The team that runs the ball better is going to win this game. If Gurley is able to get five or six yards on first and second-down carries, it is going to be a long day for the Chargers. He will get his touches, but the Bolts need to limit what he does with them.

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