If you’re new to my content, I am the best (only) AFC West blogger at Barstool Sports and I’m here to give you a little preview of what to expect in the Bolts matchup vs Baltimore this Sunday. I’m especially hyped up because we were able bring a legendary OG Stoolie Diarrhea out of retirement to give his thoughts as well. Huge, huge shoutout to Nate for tracking him down and helping facilitate it because it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Anyway, a lot of you might be thinking “Hey Kenjac, didn’t LA already lose to them at home? Aren’t they currently 2.5 point underdogs? Didn’t they have to go across the country just to play in this 10am game?” All of these things are true, but I still think the Chargers will pull this one out and I’ll tell you why.
On offense, they have to either establish the run early, or not at all. The Ravens right side is essentially impenetrable, but they are nearly last place in the league at YPA on runs to the left. If they can power through and get Melvin Gordon to even 100 yards rushing, they probably win this game. If they can’t find success, they need to light up the Ravens DBs like Baker Mayfield did. He shredded them apart in Baltimore to the tune of 3 TDs and 376 yards. These two empty-set plays in particular lead to wide open touchdowns.
I don’t necessarily think that the Chargers should rely on this because their line is not nearly as good as Cleveland. They can, however, focus more on the longball with Austin Ekler in the game this time to block alongside a much healthier Melvin Gordon. Their offensive line was roasted by the Ravens front 7, and I don’t think they’re really equipped to do much better this time around. Playing smart will probably be preferable over just trying to play hard, and I hope Anthony Lynn has some tricks up his sleeve that will give Rivers more than 3 seconds and a single read to throw the ball.
On defense, it will really come down to how they control Baltimore’s run game. They did pretty well last outing outside of giving up a 43-yard rush to Gus Edwards in the first quarter. Taking away that rush would leave Edwards at 3.7 YPC with Lamar Jackson averaging 3 and Dixon averaging 3.5. More turnovers wouldn’t hurt either.
If they played this same exact level on defense and the offense managed to put together even a mediocre performance, they win this game. The added confidence of both Derwin James and Desmond King being named to the NFL AP All-Pro team has me thinking they can do just that. My biggest fear is the absence of Jatavis Brown, who is out for the year with an ankle injury. He was second on the team in tackles with 8 when these teams last played, and is a tough guy for runners to escape. Hayes Pullard is going to be the man picking up that slack, and his whopping 18 total tackles on the year (9 vs. Denver last week) isn’t really promising.
I think they win 31-24. All four of the Chargers losses come in LA (Counting the loss to the Rams), and they have been phenomenal on the road, including wins in Kansas City, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. Lynn has proven he’s adaptable, and even the simple act of watching their tape from week 16 and the Browns tape from last week should make for perfect source material to a winning game plan. BOLT UP!
And now, to my fellow Chargers superfan:
CRAZY COUPLE OF WEEKS IN THE BOLT CAVE
SWEATED THROUGH MY *I’M HERE FOR THE GLUCK GLUCK 9000* TEE AND MIKE SCIFRES ALTERNATE JERSEY
BIRTHDAY PACKAGE FROM PAPA DIARRHEA:
#ENDZONE SEATS ON DECK
#WIFEY ON DECK
#BANKS TEARS ON DECK
CHARGERS 36- RAVENS 31
MELVIN GORDON 148 SCRIMMAGE YARDS 2 TDS
MIKE WILLIAMS 2 TDS
MVP ON THE FIELD
MVP IN THE BEDROOM
2019 POWER RANKINGS:
5 – LAT PULLDOWN
1 – SIERRA NEVADA
BIG TIME #BOLTDOWN FROM SIERRA NEVADA