It’s 13 days until 49ers training camp-week begins! We want to look at each opponent and provide a reason for and against the 49ers beating them. We’ve included a poll for the community to vote on whether they expect a win or a loss. We’ll see what kind of prediction this provides at the end.
Week 1 @ Minnesota Vikings
Week 2 vs. Detroit Lions
Week 3 @ Kansas City Chiefs
So now Week 3. The 49ers will go to face off against the Los Angeles Chargers. They did the most Charger thing ever last season and got hot late, but only to miss the playoffs in the end. I’ve been on record thinking this year will be a disappointing season for them, but I will not at all be surprised if they were to win the division. They are definitely a sleeper, but they have Philip Rivers who can slice and dice the best of defenses.
Reason For: 49ers running game
The LA Chargers are at the bottom when it comes to rushing yards allowed. Their defense surrendered the second worse total with 2098 yards rushing (131 yards a game). Only Washington could do worse.
This has to have Jerick McKinnon—and Kyle Shanahan by extension—licking his chops. And if McKinnon can’t get around the Chargers line, Matt Breida certainly can. Given that the Chargers secondary surrendered the third-best amount of yards in the air (3,156), going on the ground may be the best option for the 49ers. If McKinnon, Breida and even Joe Williams can put the three headed beast that Shanahan has wanted into action, the Chargers defense will be having fits all game.
If the 49ers can keep the Chargers offense off the field and keep the ball on the ground (without disaster happening) this could be a long day for Los Angeles.
Reason Against: Phillip Rivers
Guess who had the second-most passing yards in 2017? Why none other than Philip Rivers with 4,515 yards, only 60 yards behind Tom Brady. Also with that yardage he has only 10 interceptions and a 62.6 percent completion rate. Now, the Chargers themselves are listed as having the most passing yards in the league,so the numbers from several sources seem inconsistent—in any case, Rivers is in the top two.
What’s a weakness for the 49ers? The secondary. I do believe the 49ers secondary will surprise, but for now, it’s a work in progress. The Chargers run game hasn’t been awful, but Rivers can easily test out Richard Sherman’s rehabbed ankle and Ahkello Witherspoon’s progress and feast for the night if either isn’t up to snuff.
This also could force the 49ers to abandon the run if things get ugly, making my reason for completely moot. If the Chargers get a lead early, the 49ers may be forced to play catch-up and that would play right into the Chargers strengths in the secondary.
If you can’t see the poll, click here.
What will happen in Week 4 vs the Chargers?
This poll is closed