The San Diego Chargers will play the Carolina Panthers in San Diego on Sunday at 1:05 PM PDT. San Diego is coming off a 34-24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers while Carolina defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-20 last week.
San Diego has a 1-3 record all-time against Carolina and lost their last game against them which happened during the 2008 NFL season.
San Diego’s keys to victory are to slow down Cam Newton and Steve Smith. Newton ranks second in the NFL in yards per pass attempt and third in yards per rushing attempt. Smith ranks 13th in the NFL with an average of 76.8 receiving yards per game.
Carolina has an average pass defense because they give up 7.0 yards per attempt which ranks 16th in the league. Carolina gives up 4.4 yards per rushing attempt which ranks 18th in the NFL, so San Diego should be balanced on offense.
In one career game against Carolina, Philip Rivers had three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Chargers will need a big game from Rivers and Danario Alexander.
DeAngelo Williams should get most of the rushing attempts for Carolina because Jonathan Stewart is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game. Williams is averaging a career low 3.5 yards per attempt and San Diego gives up 3.8 yards per attempt, so they should be able to stop him.
San Diego will need a big game from their cornerbacks to win. San Diego’s secondary has to prevent the big plays from Carolina because while the Panthers rank 14th in receiving yards, they rank first in yards per reception.
Carolina struggles to score because they rank 23rd in points per game while they rank 21st in this category on defense. The Lightning Bolts rank 17th in points per game on offense and 16th in this category on defense.
I expect San Diego to win Sunday’s game by a final score of 31-21.