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LA Chargers: Game breakdown and prediction for Week 4 at Buccaneers

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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The 1-2 LA Chargers take on the 2-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4.

Week 3 turned out to be a dud for the LA Chargers after pushing the reigning Super Bowl champs to the brink of defeat in Week 2. The Carolina Panthers came to play last week. Simple as that. They were a young 0-2 team looking to avoid starting off 0-3 and they had a really good matchup in front of them in the Chargers who they had beaten 5 out of 6 times the two have faced off.

But it wasn’t all bad as the rook still managed to throw for 330 yards and a touchdown. No, Justin Herbert‘s Week 3 performance was not on the level that his Week 2 performance was, but this Chargers team is slowly starting to show who they truly are week by week.

Three games have been played so far and the Chargers’ best game was aga9inst the Chiefs by far. Cincy in Week 1 they were lucky to get by. Then we had last week’s flat performance against a winless Panthers team minus Christian McCaffrey.

MUST-READ: The five keys to beating the Carolina Panthers

If that is indicative of what kind of team these Chargers are, I think we could be looking at a not-so-cut-and-dry Week 4 game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs are starting to hit their groove. They came out very sloppy in Week 1 with a multitude of penalties and dumb mistakes, but then they’ve come back in Week 2 and 3 and covered their betting spreads against both the Panthers and Broncos pretty handily.

But what’s so interesting about this matchup is not only do the Chargers have a lot of history on their side when it comes to meetings with Tampa Bay, but if more recent history repeats itself, the Bolts are going to almost win if not pull this upset off and beat this surging Bucs team.

Think about it, they play well against the reigning Super Bowl champs but blasé against two opponents looking at top ten draft picks this year?

The Chargers could wind up being a team that plays up to its stiffer competition and down to its weaker competition. If that isn’t the most Chargers thing, I don’t know what is.

So, that being said, I think the Bolts will cover this 7 point spread this week. Tampa is 2-0 in covers and the Chargers are 1-0 against the spread. The Bucs certainly have a really good and underappreciated defense, but the team as a whole is not a finished product.

Tampa is (per the end of Week 2) 25th in yards per game on offense, 27th in rushing yards per game and 27th in giveaways. The earlier you face this team, the better if you’re a playoff contender is my current opinion on the matter.

The Bolts are (as of the end of Week 2)  6th in yards per game, 8th in passing yards per game, 6th in rushing yards per game, 8th in yards per game allowed, 9th in passing yards per game allowed, and 4th-best in points per game given up.

On both sides of the ball, the Chargers are doing a better job than a lot of people realize. The only areas they’re struggling in are scoring (kind of a big deal), giveaways and takeaways (also sort of a big deal).

So I can’t say they are going to pull this upset off especially now that they’re down Mike Williams and a bunch of starting O-linemen. But can they keep it close with the Bucs missing Chris Godwin and potentially Scotty Miller? I actually believe they will. Watch out for the Bucs pass rush against a beat-up Charger O-line, but this team can move the ball on offense regardless.

History says the Chargers get the edge in this matchup. They’re 8-3 all-time versus the Bucs and 5-1 in Tampa Bay. But the thing is Tom Brady is 6-2 in the regular season versus the Chargers and, as we all know, this is not a typical Buccaneers team the Chargers would ordinarily be seen with the GOAT captaining the ship.

I have the Bucs winning this game 28-24. Give me the Chargers covering because I believe they’ll play up for this big matchup and Justin Herbert will have some big moments throwing against this Bucs defense- clearly their weaker point.

Next. Do the Bolts have an undercover kicking problem?

The Bolts are going to play very well in this game and keep it close, but I don’t know how many rookie quarterbacks beat Tom Brady, especially in their third professional game.

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