The Los Angeles Chargers (1-2) are trying to bounce back from a tough loss last week, as they travel to Florida to take on a very dangerous Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) team led by six-time champion Tom Brady. After a uncharacteristic defensive performance versus the Carolina Panthers, the Chargers defense has a tall task ahead of them.
With an offense that has more weapons than the Soviet Union during World War II, the Chargers secondary is going to have their hands full all game. With one of the league’s premier wide receiver duos, and a three-headed monster at tight end, the Buccaneers are a very hard team to get off the field. Lets take a look at what the Chargers need to do to secure a win in Week 4, to prevent the team from falling to 1-3.
Win the Turnover Battle
Last week, the Chargers turned over the ball three times, causing them to lose a game they should have won in their sleep. Ball security is important, and it will be even more critical this week versus the Bucs. The Chargers are going to have to keep Tom Brady off the field as much as possible, and to do that, they have to hold onto the football. It is no secret that Brady is one of the best game managers in NFL history, so if you’re going to turn the ball over multiple times to his offense, I can guarantee things won’t go well for you. This also goes for the defense as well. After forcing zero turnovers last week, the Chargers are going to have to make Tampa Bay cough up the ball if they want to get back to being 0.500.
Contain the Bucs’ Lethal Wideouts
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL right now. With great size, speed, route running, and hands, the Tampa Bay receivers are a lock to make your corners frustrated. Although you cannot stop them, Casey Hayward, Chris Harris, Jr., and Desmond King are going to have to contain them the best they can. That means no big plays. Get physical with Evans and Godwin and force Brady to check down to his running backs.
Now I know it is easier said than done, but 16 points against one of the NFL’s worst defenses is not going to bring you success in today’s game. Justin Herbert will have to do a better job of taking care of the football if this team wants to win. Get the ball into Keenan Allen’s hands early and often. If there is any question mark about the Tampa Bay defense, the secondary is definitely it. I want to see Herbert find a way to get Allen involved early so the Chargers aren’t playing catch-up like last game. Get the ball to Austin Ekeler in the open field. Ekeler is great at making guys miss, and you have to get him into the open field to make that happen. Whether it be screens, stretch runs, or tosses, the Chargers have to let Ekeler chip away at the Bucs defense to wear them out quickly.
The Chargers do have a fighting chance, but it won’t be easy. With the Bucs already being 2-1, it is very unlikely to see a Tom Brady team start the year 2-2. All-in-all, I think it will be a competitive game, but the Buccaneers offense will prove to be too much to handle in the end.
Prediction: Buccaneers 35, Chargers 24
(Featured Image Credit: Chargers.com)