Three reasons why the San Diego Chargers will lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
The San Diego Chargers Are Not Good
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 4-4, giving them a winning percentage of .500. Keep that in mind for a second.
- Chargers record against teams that are currently .500 or better: 0-2
- Chargers record against teams that are currently worse than .500: 4-2
That's kinda what happens when the only teams you can beat are the Titans, Chiefs and Raiders. If you're looking at who they've beaten and who they've lost to, there is absolutely no way to conclude that the Chargers are capable of beating Tampa Bay on Sunday.
The San Diego Chargers Can't Rush the Passer
The Chargers are ranked 26th in the league with 13 sacks in 8 games. That's an average of 1.6 sacks per game of the opposing Quarterback. Football Outsiders has their adjusted sack rate at 5.6%, good for 22nd in the league.
- Buccaneers record when Josh Freeman is sacked 2+ times: 1-3
- Buccaneers record when Josh Freeman is sacked less than once or less: 3-1
Tampa's young first-round QB is like most young first-round QBs. He'll kill you if you give him time, and he'll potentially throw the game away if you get pressure on him. Too bad the Chargers can't get pressure on anyone right now.
The San Diego Chargers Can't Stop Big, Physical Receivers
The Chargers secondary is a mess. Quentin Jammer can get tough with physical guys, but usually can't keep up with their speed. Antoine Cason can keep up with their speed, but is so afraid to get tough with them that he plays 10 yards off the man he's supposed to be defending. We haven't even mentioned Atari Bigby biting on every play-fake thrown at him yet.
Here's some of the big, physical starting WRs the Chargers have faced this season:
Dwayne Bowe: 8 catches, 79 yards
Demaryius Thomas: 4 catches, 48 yards, 1 TD
Eric Decker: 6 catches, 98 yards, 1 TD
Marques Colston: 9 catches, 131 yards, 3 TDs
Dwayne Bowe, 7 catches, 108 yards, 1 TD
Julio Jones: 5 catches, 67 yards, 1 TD
The Bucs' starting WRs are both 6'2" or taller, they're both very physical, they're both excellent at jump balls and they both have enough speed to scare a secondary. One of them would be enough to make the Chargers secondary worried about Sunday. Two of them should keep them up at night.
Bonus: Early Game/East Coast
The Chargers are traveling all the way to Florida to play in a game with a 10am PT start time. How has that worked out in the past?
Loss (at Cleveland Brown)
Win (at Kansas City Chiefs)
Loss (at New York Jets)
Win (at Kansas City Chiefs)
That makes for a record of 8-9 in "morning" games for Norv Turner's Chargers. That'd almost be something to hang your hat on if they hadn't won just 1 of their last 4 early games.