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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BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up before the start of NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 16, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: Philip Rivers #17 of the Los Angeles Chargers warms up before the start of NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field on September 16, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Chargers’ passing attack vs. Rams’ pass defense

As mentioned earlier, the Chargers don’t want to be in too many long, desperate third-down situations. If they are, they’re playing right into the Rams’ hand.

Wade Phillips’ defense is one that dares you to try and throw the ball against it, only to lull you into making mistakes. The Rams have Talib and Peters, a player that has been a major thorn in the side of Philip Rivers.

In six careers games against Rivers, Peters has four interceptions. He’ll be hungry for more.

This is going to be a game where the lack of a true threat at tight end is going to stick out. The way to beat this defense is over the middle with a tight end or with a quick receiver out of the slot. It’s not going to happen deep down the field.

Keenan Allen has actually had success against Peters in the past, so expect the Rams to have Talib on him as much as possible. Peters will then try and eliminate the other outside threat.

For the Chargers to find success, Rivers needs to be able to complete short, precise throws to move the chains. Tyrell Williams or Mike Williams in an advantageous matchup need to be targeted often in this game so Rivers can avoid trying to make throws against the Rams’ elite cornerbacks. The Rams also have Sam Shields and Nickell Robey-Coleman, who won’t be easy to beat either.

If the Chargers can use Mike Williams like a tight end in this game and get him matched up on a linebacker, he could make some plays. They could line up in offensive sets that include four wide receivers (Allen, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Geremy Davis) and then line Mike Williams up at tight end.

Another option would be get Austin Ekeler matched up against a linebacker out of the backfield on a wheel route. There will be ways to get the ball down the field, but the Chargers will need to have a creative offensive gameplan.

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