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Why a win over the Rams would be huge for the Chargers

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers signals at the line of scrimmage in the game 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 signals at the line of scrimmage in the game 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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The Los Angeles Chargers take on the Los Angeles Rams in a very important Week 3 matchup.

Every win is important. Like the great Ricky Bobby said, “If you ain’t first, your last.”

In the NFL, you’re bound to lose some games. That’s the reality of it, but it doesn’t mean you should give up too early (unless your the Buffalo Bills and have a guy quit at halftime..sorry guys).

For the Chargers, a win over their hometown rival Rams is more important than you’d think.

The last time they played against each other in the regular season was back in 2014. The San Diego Chargers beat the St. Louis Rams 27-24.

Both teams now represent Los Angeles. In 2020, they will share a stadium in Inglewood. Both franchises are trying to do whatever it takes to grow their fanbase, but it’s never an easy task when you’ve alienated half of your fans after relocating.

However, the Rams are the current front-runner to take control of L.A. They are 2-0 for the first time since 2001. St. Louis made it to the Super Bowl that season. 17 years later, the L.A. Rams are arguably the best team in the NFC.

The Chargers are 1-1. Unlike last season, it didn’t take the Bolts until Week 5 to get their first win, so that’s a start. The Chargers may not be regarded as a powerhouse team like the Rams, but they are considered playoff contenders in a weaker AFC.

The Rams host the Chargers at the Coliseum Sunday. The Rams (-7) are favored to win this game. The spread seems a bit high, but you can’t really argue against them being the favorites.

I will, however, argue that the Chargers are close in talent.

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The Chargers have the better quarterback. The Rams have the better running back. The Chargers have a better receiving corps, including a top-five receiver in Keenan Allen. Though the Rams have great depth at that position (as do the Chargers), they don’t have a player like Allen. Both starting quarterbacks have only been sacked three times, showing the vast improvement of both offensive lines.

The Rams’ defensive line is stronger, but the Chargers have the best pass-rushing tandem in the league (Joey Bosa will sit this game due to injury). Everyone is so quick to say that the Rams’ corners are above and beyond the Chargers’ corners, but I disagree. If anything, a slight edge should be given to the Rams. The Rams have a weakness at linebacker. The Chargers have two rookie linebackers who have made waves in their first two games. And at safety, first-round rookie Derwin James reigns supreme.

Overall, I see two teams with a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. One exception: The Rams get more exposure than the Chargers — and they deserve it because they win games.

The Rams are defending NFC West champs. The Chargers haven’t won their division since 2009. The Bolts also haven’t made the playoffs since 2013. What the Chargers are known for is losing close games in unfathomable ways.

So why is this game so important for the Chargers? Beating one of the best teams in the NFL in a city that your’re both fighting for makes a lasting impression. I’m not saying that winning this one game changes everything, but it makes a statement and shows that you’re for real.

I’m tired of hearing the phrase “same old Chargers.” The Chargers need to work on a few things and be more consistent, but I truly believe this is a Super Bowl-caliber team. Beating the highly-touted Rams will have many thinking the same.

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