Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#279 Seattle Seahawks vs.
#280 Los Angeles Chargers
Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 10:05pm EDT
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Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Seattle Seahawks will continue the 2019 NFL preseason on Saturday night when they travel on the road for their third contest versus the Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers appear to be prepared to begin the regular season without their starting running back. Their holdout dispute with former first-round pick Melvin Gordon has lasted nearly five weeks and could become a major distraction as the season progresses, especially if he’s not on the field for Week 1. Meanwhile, the Seahawks are trying to build on a surprise 10-6 season from a year ago. Can Seattle come out on top on the road in Los Angeles in Week 3 of the preseason on Saturday night?

Lynch comes crashing back down to earth in Week 2

Seattle fell to 1-1 in the preseason after losing to the Minnesota Viking 25-19 in Week 2 on Sunday. Seahawks’ fans got their first look at starting quarterback Russell Wilson, who went completed 6 of 9 passes for 82 yards to finish the day as the team’s leading passer. Backups Paxton Lynch (6/15, 67 yards) and J.T. Barrett (0/3, INT) were unable to move the ball, as the offense stalled once Russell left the game. On defense, DeShawn Shead stood out among his teammates, leading the team in snaps, while collecting four tackles and an interception on the day. 

While the Seahawks remain committed to the run, they are expected to target their running backs more in the passing game in 2019. Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny can both catch the ball out of the backfield, but were under-utilized last season. With star receiver Doug Baldwin out of the equation, Seattle will have to get even more creative in the passing game this year. Speaking of receivers, rookie wideout D.K. Metcalf missed last week’s preseason contest and will undergo a minor procedure on his right knee. Metcalf could return as soon as Week 1 versus the Cincinnati Bengals, but Carroll reiterated that might be an optimistic timetable.

“It was a minimal surgery, minimal findings, so we have high expectations,” Carroll said. “We’ll go week to week with it and see how he does. We really don’t have any concern that he won’t get back soon. So we’re excited that we got it done. It was the kind of deal we could have put off and waited, but we thought we would use the timeframe we had available and hopefully it’ll work out just right for us.”

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Jones shines in loss to Saints

San Diego remains in a fierce contract dispute with starting running back Melvin Gordon, who is holding out of the preseason in hopes of inking a new deal. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the two sides have not made any progress towards a new deal, which only adds complications to a Chargers’ team expected to contend for a Super Bowl in 2019. Gordon would like to return in time for the regular season, per Shefter, but the 26-year-old is prepared to sit out games if he isn’t given a new contract. Gordon is set to earn $5.6 million in 2019 after the Chargers picked up a fifth-year option on his rookie deal last year. 

The Chargers dropped to 0-2 in the preseason last week, losing to the New Orleans Saints 19-17. San Diego led 17-3 in the first half before the offense stalled with backup quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and Easton stick under center. Backup quarterback Cardale Jones continued his impressive preseason, passing for 111 yards and a touchdown. He and rookie wide receiver Andre Patton seem to have a good connection. Patton was also a bright spot versus New Orleans, hauling in four of his five targets for 62 yards and a score. 

San Diego got some more bad news earlier this week when it was announced that All-Pro safety Derwin James would be sidelined three to four months following surgery on his right foot. He injured his foot in the loss to New Orleans and is not expected to be back until at least mid-November

Update (8.23): James has undergone successful surgery and will be placed on the injured reserve. He still could return in November.

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You have to like the Chargers chances in this game. We might get a few series from Russell Wilson in this game, but if last week was any indication, the Seahawks’ backups are going to have a tough time moving the ball in this one. San Diego has some capable backup quarterbacks and some skilled playmakers on offense. Jones played well versus the Saints and he seems to have a solid connection with Patton on the outside, so look for San Diego to come out on top in this preseason battle at home on Saturday evening. 

Prediction: San Diego Chargers +1

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The Seahawks’ backup quarterbacks failed to move the ball last week, combining to go 6 of 18 for 67 yards and an interception, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they had trouble once again versus a talented San Diego front. Meanwhile, San Diego has been stout defensively, but they have totalled 30 points through their first two preseason contests. We’re not likely to see much of Rivers in this game, so I’d roll with the under in this preseason battle in L.A. on Saturday night?

Prediction: Under
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.