How have the Chargers fared lately?
The Chargers started the season strong with a 4-1 start and wins over Football Team, Chiefs, Raiders and Browns. However, their last three games have been a blowout loss to the Ravens, a close loss to the Patriots and a close win against the low flying Eagles. The Chargers defense isn’t anything to write home about and the Vikings should be able to take advantage.
Week 6: Ravens 34 - Chargers 6
The offense had a poor showing against the Ravens and this game was over early. The teams first five drives were punt, punt, punt, turnover on downs and interception. The only score of the first half for the Chargers was a TD on a short field after a Lamar Jackson INT and they missed the XP. The second half was somehow worse with turnover on downs, punt, punt and turnover on downs. 208 total yards on offense and some short fields for the Ravens offense.
Week 7: Bye
Week 8: Patriots 27 - Chargers 24
This was not one of Herbert’s better games. An interception towards the end of the first half from Herbert gave the Patriots an easy FG. The Chargers were clinging onto a 1 point lead to start the 4th when Herbert tossed a pick 6 to give the Patriots a 7 points lead after a 2 pt conversion. That was followed up by a 3 and out that included an offensive hold and the Pats tacked on a FG to go up by double digits. A late TD made this game close on the final scoreboard.
Week 9: Chargers 27 - Eagles 24
The two teams traded scores for most of the game. The Chargers passing game was on point for most of the game, but the team was unable to get a consistent run game going. Chargers kicked the winning field goal with 0:02 left on the clock to win the game.
Chargers injury concerns
The biggest worries for the Chargers will be starting FS Nasir Adderley and CB Michael Davis. Neither have participated in practice on Wednesday or Thursday. WR Keenan Allen was a DNP on Wednesday and a LP on Thursday. He is most likely going to play as he deals with a sore knee.
Vikings injury concerns
Harrison Smith will miss the game while still on the COVID list. Currently, Garrett Bradbury is still on the list as well. Dokota Dozier has been in the hospital and will likely miss the game as well. Anthony Barr was a DNP in practice on Wednesday and Thursday and doesn’t look likely to play on Sunday. Michael Pierce is also expected to be out. The only other concern is Kenny Willekes who missed Thursday with an illness. We should see Mason Cole starting at center again after filling in admirably this past Sunday. Armon Watts will step in for Michael Pierce as he has done the last several weeks. I’ll be looking forward to watching Camryn Bynum fill in for Harrison Smith again as he lit it up last week.
My game prediction
This feels like it’s going to be more of the same. The Vikings offense is not as good as the Chargers offense, but the Vikings defense is better than the Chargers defense. I think both of these teams are middling teams for the year. The Vikings have the unique ability to lose most of the close games. I expect our old friend Linval Joseph to put up a good fight up the middle and Joey Bosa will be looking to get after Kirk if the team can’t get the run game going. Even if the two DBs for the Chargers come back in time for the game the Vikings should be able to put up some yards through the air. I just don’t see the Vikings being able to stop Ekeler on the ground and if the Chargers get the ground game going Herbert is going to be able to light up the defense with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. I’ll predict a high scoring loss of something like Chargers 34 - Vikings 31.