The 1-2 LA Chargers take on the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 of the 2020 NFL season.
The Bucs dropped their first game of the season to the New Orleans Saints but made quick work of the Panthers and Denver Broncos. The Chargers, even though they lost to Carolina, are probably the most talented team the Bucs have played since New Orleans.
However, the Chargers are banged up and have a rookie quarterback starting against a really tough defense. Just like every week, the Bolt Beat staff got together and gave our score predictions. For the sake of the competition, the total for this game is set at 42.5, according to the Action Network.
Bolt Beat’s LA Chargers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers predictions:
Alexander Insdorf (2-4-0): Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, LA Chargers 21
The Bucs are favored by 7 in this one, but I think the Chargers keep it close despite being shorthanded. That’s in part because Tampa is dealing with injuries of their own, particularly on offense.
The Chargers should excel when it comes to rushing the passer and taking advantage of the Bucs’ O-Line. However, I see them struggling in a similar way on their own offense.
The defensive line will wreak havoc with the Chargers missing Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner. While the game stays close, the pressure and lack of time in the pocket for Herbert is the difference in this one.
Brandon Viera (3-3-0): LA Chargers 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Both of these teams are coming into the game extremely banged up. I think the Chargers will really be looking to right the ship quickly, because dropping this game could easily lead to a 1-4 start. Tom Brady is still learning his new offense, and hopefully, that does not lead to a dismantling of the defense. The Chargers are going to go into New Orleans a 2-2 football team.
Devon Auriemma (4-2-0): Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24, LA Chargers 20
This game features two of the league’s top defenses through the first few weeks of the season. The Bucs have a dominant pass rush as they have combined for 11 sacks and have forced four interceptions in the past two weeks. This will likely be a close and low scoring game. Due to the Bucs’ pass rush and the Chargers shaky offensive line, they get the slight edge here.
Faustino Felix (2-2-0): LA Chargers 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20
Just as the Chargers have a tendency to play down to the opposition (like last week), they also tend to rise up to the occasion against top opponents, even if they don’t end up with the win. Tampa Bay has a good defense, especially against the run. This means Justin Herbert needs to keep his good run going if the Chargers want to consistently move the chains.
The Bolts are missing a few key pieces, but the Bucs are a little banged up too so there’s going to be no excuse if they lose. This is the game that may define what kind of season it’s going to be.
Ryan Daley (1-1-0): Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, LA Chargers 20
The Chargers are going into this game not only against Tom Brady and a solid Buccaneer defense, but also going into the game with a lot of injuries. With Chris Harris Jr. out, the Chargers will see Desmond King take the slot. This taking away from an already small safety group.
Also, both Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga may miss Sunday’s game which is scary to hear especially with that Buccaneers defensive line.At the end of the day, this game will come down to the Chargers defense stopping Brady. The 43-year old quarterback could be without two receiving targets and Leonard Fournette.
If that Chargers defense that’s been solid all season can hold their ground and Justin Herbert can improve even more from these two starts, the Chargers could have a chance to upset. Though after being disappointing against a mediocre Panthers team, I’m not too optimistic for them Sunday morning.
Steven Haglund (4-2-0): Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, LA Chargers 17
If we were to play this game last season, it would be the most entertaining and turnover-filled game ever. Fast forward to today and the current Chargers team has been ravaged by injuries. Bryan Bulaga, and Trai Turner specifically are HUGE losses upfront.
This Tampa Bay defense is a top-five unit in the league in my opinion, and the front seven is flat out scary. This is simply a bad matchup. The Chargers defense will be good enough to keep this within striking range but I just don’t see the Chargers offense being able to string together enough long drives to win. The Justin Herbert era should be a fun one, but will sadly start off 0-3.
Tyler Gallagher (4-2-0): Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, LA Chargers 16
This game has the makings of a surprisingly defensive battle, given the injuries to key Tampa Bay Buccaneers players such as Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, and Leonard Fournette, as well as the likelihood that the Chargers offensive line may be dominated by the Bucs’ front.
Given that, I see this being a lower scoring game than expected. While I think an upset is realistic, I have to lean towards expecting a Buccaneers win given the potential that the Buccaneers defensive front may take over the game and force key mistakes from the Chargers.
Jason Reed (4-2-0): Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, LA Chargers 13
I hate to be that guy and predict a two-touchdown loss but I hate this matchup for the Bolts. Justin Herbert is going to be pressured out of his mind and West Coast teams always struggle on the road in afternoon games on the East Coast.
There are going to be scattered showers and I just do not see the Chargers’ offense doing much. I see one touchdown with two field goals while the Bucs score three touchdowns and two field goals after capitalizing on a short field.
I hope I am wrong.