LA Chargers: Game breakdown and prediction for Week 3 vs. Panthers
By Sean Basile
The LA Chargers host the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.
Week 2 was a mixed bag for the LA Chargers as they got a taste of the future of their franchise while simultaneously losing their starting quarterback spontaneously.
The good news for this team- Justin Herbert played extremely well against perhaps the best team in the league in the Kansas City Chiefs. For the time being, Herbert is the man in LA. Now we’re going to get to see just how much he can steer this franchise in a positive direction.
This week’s matchup should, on paper, be one where the rookie Herbert can thrive. The Carolina Panthers are clearly not the Chiefs and Teddy Bridgewater isn’t even close to Patrick Mahomes.
However, as much as this matchup seems like a slam dunk for the Bolts, one must not get too confident because history might not be on their side.
First and foremost, you always have to be careful in Week 3. Week 3s are perhaps the hardest week to pick games in my opinion. Many people think it’s Week 1, but Week 3 is loaded with teams 2-0 or 0-2 for the most part and the direction of everybody’s season hangs in the balance.
The 0-2 teams almost always come out swinging to try and avoid starting 0-3. The teams that go 0-3 are basically done for the year unless their name is the Houston Texans who have a knack for horrible starts and strong finishes as of recently.
The Panthers are a team to keep an eye on. I know for a fact this Chargers team is the better of the two, but this is a classic spot for a team coming off a high in the Chargers finds themselves coming out flat with the stark contrast in competition.
In other words, the Chiefs took up a lot of the Chargers’ energy and focus. The Panthers are coming into this game loaded and ready to fire down field now that Christian McCaffrey is out.
Historically, the Panthers also own this matchup with the Bolts 5-1 all-time. They’re on a three-game winning streak versus the Chargers and, get this, have never lost on the road at the Chargers (3-0). Teddy Bridgewater is also 1-0 against them.
The Panthers don’t do much of anything good yet in 2020, but that doesn’t mean the Chargers are just going to roll in this game. For my money, I’m rolling with the kid to get the job done. But when I locked in my bets this week, the Chargers were favored by 6.5 points. That screams trouble to me.
I’m going Chargers winning this game 36-33 and the Panthers covering. Carolina is going to come out and really try to hit the Bolts in the mouth. They’re top ten in yards per game and fourth in passing yards per game. Lots of weapons for the Bolt secondary to deal with in DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Robby Anderson. The Panthers are not getting rolled over.
The numbers say Carolina wins this game. But this is a different kind of LA Chargers team with the rookie under center. I think Justin Herbert finds himself in another highly-competitive game, but this time, he comes out on top.