After a big win over the Miami Dolphins in Week 14, the LA Chargers are back at home to host the Tennessee Titans in Week 15. The arrow is pointing down for the Titans, who have lost their last two games in ugly fashion.
This is still one of the most compelling matchups in the entire league, though. Both the Chargers and Titans are 7-6 and have had games where they look elite. However, they have also had games where they look horrible. It is hard to pinpoint which version of each team will show up on any given day.
There is also the matchup dynamic of this game. Both teams have weaknesses that play directly into the other team's strengths. Whichever team can best capitalize on these strengths will ultimately walk out as the winner.
When the dust settles, there will be five compelling stats to look back on that would have decided the outcome of this game. These are important trends to keep in mind as the Chargers head into a game that could catapult them with momentum.
5 stats that will decide the Chargers-Titans Week 15 outcome:
1. Titans allow the second-most passing yards per game
The Tennessee Titans have allowed 283.7 passing yards per game this season. That is the second-most in the entire league, only ahead of the Detroit Lions. They have been particularly bad the last two weeks, allowing 754 combined passing yards to Jalen Hurts and Trevor Lawrence.
The Chargers have played six games this season against teams that rank in the bottom 10 in passing yards allowed per game. They are 4-2 in those games. The two losses were against the Jacksonville Jaguars the week after Justin Herbert's rib injury and the second game against the Las Vegas Raiders, when four of the five starting offensive linemen were out and Mike Williams didn't play.
2. Derrick Henry has only eclipsed 100 yards once the last five weeks
Derrick Henry has not been the same force this season as he was in 2020 and 2021. He is still a dangerous running back to come up against but this is not prime King Henry that the Chargers have to worry about.
Henry eclipsed 100 yards last week to break a four-week streak of not reaching the century mark. However, that was carried by one 50-yard carry. If you remove that one big play, his numbers are not that scary.
Henry averaged 2.77 yards per carry from Week 10 to 13. The Titans have a bad run-blocking offensive line and if the Chargers can get Henry from getting to the second level they can contain him.
3. Opposing quarterbacks have a 55.2% completion rate against the Chargers since the bye
The Chargers defense has been really good against the pass since the bye week and that was on full display in Week 14. Brandon Staley schemed up a brilliant plan to stop the explosive Miami offense despite being without two key members of the secondary in Derwin James and Bryce Callahan.
In fact, the Chargers' defense has been good as a whole since the bye. The Bolts have allowed 22.8 points per game since the bye. That would rank 16th in the NFL. If you remove Tyreek Hill's crazy fumble return touchdown that number drops to 21.7 points per game. That would rank 13th.
4. The Titans have the best third-down defense in the league, allowing 31.61% of third downs to convert
Meanwhile, the Chargers rank 24th at 42.58%. More concerningly, the Chargers get to third down far too often with how Joe Lombardi schemes the offense. The Chargers are 29th in the league in getting first downs on first or second down.
Tennessee is tied with the Chargers in converting first and second downs but has a far better third-down defense to make up the difference. If the Chargers are going to win this game, they have to convert more often on first and second down.
5. The Titans are sixth in the league in red-zone touchdown percentage (65.71%) while the Chargers are 27th (47.92%).
Another hole that has opened because of Lombardi is the red-zone offense. The play-calling at that area of the field simply is not good enough and the team is not finding the endzone enough. Meanwhile, the Titans have been one of the best teams in the league in converting within the 20.
If these trends continue then that could be the difference between the Chargers winning and losing. That being said, the Bolts are getting a key red-zone target in Donald Parham back this week, which might make all the difference in the world.