LA Chargers News

3 Chargers who desperately need to step up to beat the Falcons in Week 9

Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs
Los Angeles Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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2. Kenneth Murray

The LA Chargers have a tough matchup against an Atlanta team that can run the ball. Los Angeles ranks dead last in yards allowed per carry this season and while that is skewed by a handful of big runs, it is still impossible to say that this run defense has been good this season.

Unfortunately for the Bolts, it appears that Cordarelle Patterson is going to make his return in Week 9, making a tough matchup even harder to handle. Patterson is averaging a staggering 5.9 yards per carry this season with Atlanta.

If the team is going to stop this rushing attack it, of course, is going to need strong play from the defensive line, particularly in Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson. It is also going to need Drue Tranquill and Derwin James to make the plays on the ball that they have been making all season.

However, if the defense is really going to reach its potential it is going to need someone like Kenneth Murray to utilize his athleticism and make a difference in the run game. Atlanta isn't just going to run between the tackles but will definitely run outside the tackles a fair amount, especially with Patterson returning.

Whether it be Patterson on an outside hand-off or Marcus Mariota on a designed keep, the Chargers are going to need Murray at his best not only in play recognition but in his pursuit of the ball carrier to keep these runs from reaching the second level.