NFL Preseason: Los Angeles Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers
When: 10:00 PM EDT, Thursday, August 31, 2017
Where: Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California
Lines: San Francisco -3
Tonight on the NFL Gridiron, the AFC West meets the NFC West as the Los Angeles Chargers battle it out with the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. The Bolts finally got their first win of the preseason as they topped the Rams 21-19 last week, while the Niners come in off a very tough 32-31 loss at Minnesota and they have now gone 1-2 in the preseason.
Chargers Win The Battle For Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Chargers did not play well in their first two preseason games as they were outscored 61-24 in those two games. They finally got their first win of the preseason as they beat the Rams by a score of 21-19 in the battle for Los Angeles. The Chargers raced out to a 21-0 lead in the game as Philip Rivers looked good in completing all six of his passes for 85 yards and a TD. He is ready for the season as he has hit 11 of 12 passes for 141 yards and two TDs, while posting a QBR of 1t55.2 in his two preseason games played so far. He has some very good weapons to work with and a ground attack led by Melvin Gordon, plus the Bolts now have an OL that will be able to protect Rivers and open holes for Gordon. This should be a top five offense this year and they will need it as their defense doesn’t appear to be that strong.
That defense was bad last year and then they allowed 48 points to the Seahawks in their preseason opener, but they have allowed just 16 ppg their last two games. As I stated above, the Chargers raced out to a 21-0 lead in the game, but after that, it was all the Rams as they scored the next 19 points of the game. They had a chance to go ahead, but Travis Coons missed a 33 yards FG in the 4th quarter and the Chargers held on for the win. Their pass defense did struggle in the game as they allowed 278 yards to the Rams, who will not be a good passing offense this year. That has to concern the Chargers and it may mean that they will be involved in many high scoring games this year.
Brian Hoyer Gives The Niners Hope
The San Francisco 49ers really need good QB play to give them a chance at being a competitive team this year and they may have found their guy. Brian Hoyer did not really have a good preseason, until their 32-31 loss to the Vikings on Sunday night. In that game, he hit 12 of 17 passes for 176 yards, two TDs and no INTs. That is the kind of QB play they really need this year and it will compliment what should be a decent ground attack. If Hoyer continues to grow in this offense, then they have a shot at putting some points on the board. CJ Beathard also had a good game as he came in and hit seven of 13 passes for 159 yards, with a TD and an INT. He should be their backup this year as the coaches like his work ethic and the fact that he is improving in this offense. The Niners have now averaged 24 ppg in the preseason after averaging just 19.3 ppg last year.
The offense looks improved so far, but the defense is having issues as they have now allowed 33 and 32 points the last two weeks. The defense looked good in the first half against the Vikings as they blanked them, but Minnesota exploded on this defense in the 2nd half with 32 points to walk away with the win. This was the worst defense in the league last year and so far it hasn’t looked great. The first team defense looked pretty good against the Vikings, but the backups didn’t look good at all and that means that this team is shy on depth. If the defense suffers injuries, then they will be in trouble as the season goes on.
Los Angeles is:
- 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games
- 4-1 ATS in their last five Thursday games
San Francisco is:
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games overall
- 1-6 ATS in their last seven Thursday games
The Los Angeles Chargers have not looked that good in the preseason overall, while the Niners have lost two of their first three games. Los Angeles is a bit of an enigma this year as they look like a team that will challenge for a postseason berth, but they also could be a team that will be in last place in the AFC West. The Niners are a team they will be easily in last place in their division. That gives them the motivation to win this game, but I see it going the other way. The Chargers really haven’t put a complete game together in the preseason and I look for them to strive for that in this one. A lot of backups will be in play in this one and I see San Diego have the better time of it, especially with Cardale Jones at QB. Look for the Chargers to even their preseason record at 2-2 as they have the better depth in this game.
Pick: San Diego
This should be a very interesting game between a couple of rivals from California. The Chargers have not looked good on offense when Rivers is not in there, but I see Cardale Jones having a good game in this one against a San Francisco defense that was the worst in the league last year and has very little depth. The Chargers have not played well on defense, especially their pass defense and the Niners have shown that they can air it out some this preseason and they will look to do so in this game. Even though the starting offenses will not be in there that much in this one, I still look for a high scoring game.