The Chargers head to face the Chicago Bears this Sunday in a must-win game. Here’s why the team pulls off a miracle this week.
The Chargers just lost to three of the worst teams in the NFL this season, two of them without their starting quarterback from opening day; naturally, having to face a tough Chicago Bears defense isn’t shaping up to be the exciting matchup fans hoped for.
However, the Chargers do have a chance to win this game, and a victory on the road could spark some kind of Wild Card postseason run. Here’s two reasons they may pull it off:
Chargers have contained Khalil Mack for years
Here’s a truly mind-blowing number: Khalil Mack has just one sack in four years against the Chargers.
Now, two asterisks here: Those numbers were while he was with the Raiders, and he never faced a lovely duo of Sam Tevi and Trent Scott before. Russell Okung will start, but he will be limited and is projected to rotate with Scott.
But perhaps the Chargers can figure out a way to either slow down or neutralize Mack’s pass-rushing ability, as they have for years.
Up next: One way they could do that.
Chargers may make a switch on offense, finally
There were dozens of Chargers fans on Sunday who predicted Melvin Gordon would be given the ball in an attempt to win the game after Austin Ekeler got them to the one-yard line, only to fumble the game away in the most Chargers way possible; the fact that it actually happened is a little scary.
But rewind things for a little bit and forget the awful ending: Things were looking smooth and efficient on offense.
It took 1:30 for the Chargers to score on their second-to-last possession, and 2:20 to move an inch away from scoring on their final drive. 12 plays, 125 yards, and nearly two scores in less than four minutes.
Against the Steelers the week prior, the Chargers had scoring drives timed at 3:59, 3:23, and 2:24, resulting in 17 unanswered points and a near comeback victory at home.
The hurry up works with this offense, and if Rivers has been the one making calls on those drives, he needs to be able to continue to do so early and often.