clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Los Angeles Rams vs. Los Angeles Chargers film preview: A Rivers runs through

Okay, that’s a bad pun. You know what isn’t bad, though? The Los Angeles Chargers’ football team.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Buffalo Bills Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Battle for LA is like the movie Battle: Los Angeles; it’s a confusing piece of crap that exists even though nobody asked for it.

I’m supposed to believe there is a raging battle between the Rams and the Chargers for the hearts of Los Angeles? Or that Aaron Eckhart can play anyone but Harvey Dent?

Regardless of the promotion, Sunday’s game is bound to be a good one because the Los Angeles Chargers look like a good football team.


The Chargers offense leans more towards the passing game than the ground game. The offense has a cast of weapons for the passing-attack, and two of them are in the backfield with running backs Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler.

On this play, Ekeler is lined up on the line of scrimmage as a receiver and QB Philip Rivers hits him for a 20+ yard throw. Ekeler was an undrafted free agent in 2017, coming out of Western State, which sounds like a made up college. It’s not. It is real and it does reside in a Western State (It’s Colorado!).

The Chiefs were in man-defense on this play that went for another 20-yard gain. LT Russell Okung gets a pat on the pass-rusher and runs to the second level, picking up the lone defender who was supposed to cover Gordon.

Notice the receiver lined up on the side of the play’s route. He runs a route across and away from the play, which takes his defender out of it completely.

Philip Rivers—Ageless beauty

I know two things about Philip Rivers—he’s Catholic (the seven kids were a dead giveaway) and he hasn’t aged since 2004. At 36, he’s still mobile and able to make throws under pressure. He can even scramble.

Through two weeks, Rivers completion percentage sits around 73 percent. The game against Buffalo—in which he completed around 85 percent of his throws—was a big help. In both games, Rivers threw for three touchdowns. He threw one interception against Kansas City.

Watch the sweep

The Chargers are pretty good at this.

They’re like the Rams when they had Tavon Austin except this stuff actually works.

Haha, remember Tavon Austin, guys?


Like Mike Silver on Twitter, the Chargers line knows how to block (except the o-line does it out of necessity and not because they’re a butthurt dork who KNOWS STEVE KERR GUYS!).

That’s FB Derek Watt with a great block to keep the running lane open for Gordon to make the big gain. Watt is a great blocker who can get to his block on time to keep the lane open or derail an incoming defender.

On this scoring play, the whole gang gets involved. The center pulls and he and Watt create a huge lane for Gordon to run through.

Run-defense builds the wall

The best matchup to watch will be the Rams running-game versus the Chargers run-defense. Through two weeks, the Chargers defense allowed an average of 95 yards (106 against Kansas City and 84 against Buffalo).

Kansas City’s running game was on a good roll against the Chargers in the first half. Yet, the defense was able to curb the run and allowed around 34 yards in the second half.

Against Buffalo, the Chargers limited the Bills in the first half to 24 rushing yards (if you take away the sack plays). In the second half, the Bills racked up 77 rushing yards, but 54 of those yards came from one drive.

Like the Rams front seven, the Chargers defense knows how to move with the running play and get to the ball-carrier. The defensive line shifts horizontally and creates a wall.

The Chargers pass-defense is ranked in the upper-half of the league, but they faced two young quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen, with one of those quarterbacks being pretty not good. I am not going to point fingers, but I will say his name rhymes with Dosh Dallen.

The Chargers defense will still be a challenge, even without DE Joey Bosa. They’re aggressive, they’re fast and they can play with just about anyone.