The Los Angeles Chargers have now lost two games in a row and enter this week with a record of 5-5. They’ll head to Arizona this weekend looking to get back on track in a game where they will be road favorites. I’ll be going over why the Chargers should be the play this weekend and then previewing the game.
LA is currently favored by -3 this weekend against a 4-7 Cardinals team that has been a mess all season. After the Cardinals, 28 point loss on Monday Night Football they had to fire one of their coaches for a legal incident and that is just another issue on the large list of problems this team has had.
Offensively the Chargers have been solid through the air which is no surprise with Justin Herbert at quarterback but the running game has been non-existent. The bright side for the Chargers and Chargers backers is that the Cardinals rank 31st in the league in points allowed per game and have not been able to stop any passing attack.
It would of course be nice if the Chargers could establish a better run game behind Austin Ekeler but this Cardinals' defense is the exact defense that Brandon Staley and Justin Herbert like to play against. Arizona allows 6.9 yards per pass and an average of 245.4 passing yards a game.
With Keenan Allen fully back and healthy, the combination of him and Josh Palmer should be able to take full advantage of a Cardinals team that has allowed 1687 yards after the catch which is the worst in the league. They are also tied for 29th in sacks so they have been unable to pressure the quarterback only making Herbert's job a lot easier.
The Chargers might be struggling on defense but even if Kyler Murray returns like he is supposed to he will most likely be without Rondale Moore, making it now two offensive weapons he won’t have. I think the Cardinals have been heading in the wrong direction all season and that free fall will continue this weekend.
Los Angeles is not the only team in this match-up that is struggling to establish a running game. The Cardinals are 21st in the league in rushing yards a game so we’ll see if a now-healthy James Conner can help turn that around. Even with Kyler Murray being able to play it’s unclear if he’ll be able to scramble and create plays like he usually does or if his hamstring will limit that.
This would be the perfect week for Arizona to establish a run game since the Chargers allow the most yards per carry and the seventh-most rushing yards in the league. Much like Arizona, the Chargers' front seven has struggled to produce any pressure in the backfield, however, at their core, LA is a good tackling team and is second in the league in missed tackles with only 35 this season. Arizona’s defense actually has the most missed tackles in the entire league.
Injuries have been piling up for Arizona as it looks like they will be without two starting defensive backs this weekend. The Chargers have also had their fair share of injury issues as well, wide receiver Mike Williams looks like he won’t be playing this weekend.