The Chargers have rattled off four straight wins and five of their last 6. Their record since week 10 of last season is 11-3, good enough for 3rd best in that span. Yet, the Seattle Seahawks have won back to back impressive games and get the home field advantage on the Chargers this Sunday.
The Chargers will finally get to face a team around their level. Their two losses are to the top two teams in the league. Of their five wins, none of them have been to winning opponents. The Seahawks pose a tough challenge. They run the ball well and have been a top defense again this season.
This is a statement game the Chargers must win. After this match-up they get the Raiders, Broncos and Cardinals. If the Chargers were to lose on Sunday they would have to wait nearly a month to prove themselves again. The question becomes what do the Chargers need to do to win on Sunday and hush the doubters.
STOP THE RUN:
Seattle has had a runner eclipse 100 yards on the ground in four of the last five games. The Chargers have done a great job stopping the run, allowing Todd Gurley to be the only 100 yard rusher on them. Stopping the run is a must for the Chargers because Russell Wilson has been sacked 21 times and the Seahawks have struggled to stop good pass rush.
Wilson threw the ball 17 times last Sunday against a lackluster pass rush in Detroit. He completed 14 of them. If the Chargers can stop the run and force Wilson to pass, they can let the pass rush make a difference in this game.
SCORE EARLY AND OFTEN:
The Chargers need to score early and try to get Seattle away from the run. Seattle is 3-1 in games which they ran for over 100 yards. If the Chargers are able to score early and push Seattle to pass the ball, they will have better luck beating them. Russell Wilson has thrown for over 250 yards once in week one and they lost that game in Denver. He has only throw the ball more than 30 times twice and they are 0-2 in those games.
If the Chargers can build a lead it is clear that the Seahawks will struggle more throwing the ball. The Seahawks are fifth in the NFL in rushing, but 27th is passing.
WIN THE TURNOVER BATTLE:
Seattle is +10 in the turnover battle. They have forced 10 interceptions and 6 fumbles. Rivers has done a fantastic job limiting turnovers for the Chargers, who are +5. Obviously you want to win the turnover battle in every game but when you have a team that likes to run the ball and control the tempo, the Chargers need to prevent turnovers and have temp on their side.
Overall I like the Chargers in this match-up because they are the more talented team, but the Seahawks the team closest to their level that they have faced all season to this point. A win in Seattle will give the Chargers a must needed win over a good opponent.
The Chargers have a tough stretch the last month or so of the season so they must win this game to give them their best possibility to be 9-2 going into Pittsburgh in week 13. This game has huge weight on the outcome of the rest of their season.