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LA Chargers: 3 keys to defeating the Washington Football Team in Week 1

Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
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Ryan Fitzpatrick
Baltimore Ravens v Washington Football Team / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

2. Put pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick in early downs

Ryan Fitzpatrick might not be known as an elite quarterback but his numbers in early downs have been really good the last two seasons. If the Chargers are going to have success in this game then they are going to have to put pressure on him in early passing downs.

This is a weapon for the Washington Football Team to utilize as they have a solid back in Antonio Gibson that can open up things further for Fitzpatrick. If they get the ground game going early that is only going to open up play-action and other looks on early downs for Fitzpatrick.

The Chargers really have to put emphasis on early downs, especially first downs. This is where Washington is going to do most of its damage and where Fitzpatrick is going to succeed. If they have a proper game plan for early downs then the Bolts win this game.

Fitzpatrick completed 74.6% of his first-down passes last season and 70% of his second-down passes. That dipped all the way to 55% on third downs. While the percentages were lower, the same trend was true for Fitzpatrick the year prior as well.

In 2019, he completed 61.9% of his first-down passes, 66.49% of his second-down passes and 53.98% of his third-down passes.

Yes, it is true that most quarterbacks are betting throwing the ball on early downs, but the gap between Fitzpatrick on first and second down versus third down is massive and that could be the difference between a Fitzmagic game and a poor game.

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