The LA Chargers will try for their first-ever home win at SoFi stadium this Sunday. Here’s how they match up with the Carolina Panthers.
What a whirlwind week for LA Chargers fans. We got to see the start of the Justin Herbert era begin in amazing fashion. The story of Tyrod Taylor’s punctured lung raged wild for three days on social media and on the various sports networks. Now, we look ahead to the Carolina Panthers.
Herbert will start his second game and look to get his first win, as Taylor is not 100% this week. I have to wonder what the line for this game would be if he and if Christian McCaffrey were playing. Vegas is giving the Chargers six and a half points, which speaks to McCaffrey’s value.
The Panthers have had a bit of a slow start to their season, sitting at 0-2, particularly on defense. They got torched by Josh Jacobs and the Las Vegas Raiders in week one and lost 34-30. Then Leonard Fournette and company shredded them again in week two, and the Panthers lost again 34-17.
However, their offensive chemistry, specifically between Teddy Bridgewater and D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, has been impressive to watch. Without McCaffrey, I expect that receiving duo to be even more involved on Sunday. If the Chargers secondary can keep a lid on them, they should be in good shape.
Here is the complete roster breakdown vs the Panthers:
Special Teams: Edge, Carolina Panthers
The LA Chargers special teams unit is much improved this season. Ty Long has had a few booming punts, Michael Badgley has only missed one kick so far, and Joe Reed has brought some much-needed juice as a return man.
That being said, the Chargers unit is relatively unproven and the Panthers’ isn’t. Joey Slye is one of the more underrated kickers in the league, he made eight kicks last season from 50 yards or more. That led the entire league. He’s off to a great start this season and hasn’t missed a kick yet.
Pharaoh Cooper made first-team All-Pro and earned a Pro Bowl berth as a returner in 2017. He’s struggled to find a home mostly because of his lack of ability on offense, but he’s a very good return specialist. Long probably has the edge over Joseph Carlton in the battle of punters, but it’s close.