3. The LA Chargers to control Trey Lance's running game
Our own Alex Insdorf put together a great article detailing how Trey Lance is a great test for the LA Chargers as he is a dual-threat quarterback and the team has not faced that yet with the new-look Brandon Staley offense.
The Chargers have been susceptible to running plays by the quarterback before, especially in Gus Bradley's defense in which the mantra was always "bend, don't break".
This is obviously a new defense and Lance is likely going to play most of this preseason game. While we can talk about the cornerbacks and their ability in coverage or the desire to see takeaways, I mostly want to see how they handle Lance and how Kyle Shanahan is going to move him and the pocket around the field.
If Brandon Staley's defense is going to be as good as we all hope then they should have a counter for this. Granted, the players, especially the linebackers, that will play in the regular season are far more athletic than the ones that will play in this game.
But the schemes and the way they attack it will still be the same. If the defense suffocates Lance and he makes a third-stringer miss that is not the end of the world. If he scrambles for 20 yards on a busted play where there is no one in the middle of the field then it is a problem.
The Chargers do face some scrambling quarterbacks this season. Patrick Mahomes uses his legs when needed and did so against the Chargers in a huge Week 2 play last year. Lamar Jackson is the best in the business in carrying the ball, Baker Mayfield can move around, Cam Newton can run (assuming he starts), Jalen Hurts is mobile, Daniel Jones is mobile and Deshaun Watson/Tyrod Taylor are mobile.
While most NFL quarterbacks have some sense of mobility in 2021, the Chargers still have eight games against quarterbacks that can really make a team pay with their legs. That is just under half the season.