It’s the third week of preseason and the #FightForLA is officially on. Tonight the Los Angeles Chargers will take on their rival Los Angeles area team, the Rams, in the regular season dress rehearsal. Tensions ran high during the joint practices between the Chargers and Rams earlier this month, and although neither team will say it openly, I'm betting both sides are looking to hand the other, in the words of Philip Rivers, “a good ol’ fashioned rear end whippin”. With the hype for this game probably a little over the top for an exhibition match, here are my over the top predictions for tonight's game.
Desmond King creates 3 turnovers
If you've been following along this preseason, you know the love we have for Desmond King here at BFTB is real. The rookie 5th round pick out of Iowa has played stellar football thus far, becoming “must see T.V.” over the past two weeks. That's not going to change tonight. No, in fact, King is going to show up packing his best performance yet as he creates not one, not two, but three turnovers for the Chargers defense. That's right, three. Going against the likes of Rams QB’s Jared Goff and Sean Mannion, Dez is going to get his hands on two passes while in coverage, one of which he will be taking to the house. Before his night is over, the King will also force a fumble for good measure.
Hunter Henry goes for 100+ yards and 2 TD’s in one half
Hunter Henry has already proved himself one of the NFL’s best young tight ends. In his second season, he’s going to prove that he is one of the NFL’s best tight ends period. It all starts against the Rams. Head Coach Anthony Lynn has stated that he would like most of the starters to play the whole first half of this weeks game. In those two quarters of football, Hunter Henry will feast. The Chargers first team offense has employed a lot of two tight end sets with Henry and Antonio Gates this preseason with a good amount of success. With all the offensive talent on the field for the Chargers, it seems as though defenses lose track of Henry at times. Well, a defenses mistake is Hunter’s gain. In his limited playing time tonight, Henry will dominate the field for the Bolts offense. Having nobody able to cover the second year tight end, Henry will gash the Rams defense to the tune of one-hundred plus yards and two scores, making his living in between the hash marks.
The Chargers defense will post a double digit sack total
The flood gates are going to open against the Rams. We are going to see the pass rushing potential of Gus Bradley’s defense on full display. Yep, the Rams quarterback's are in for a long night. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will kick things off for the Bolts, both picking up a sack before their nights are over. Second-year man Jatavis Brown will get in on the action as well during his time on the field. Expect to see a lot of these sacks to come during the second half of the game. I'm crediting two sacks to DE Chris McCain right now. McCain has had a strong preseason and will build on that tonight as he takes another step closer to landing a spot on the final 53-man roster. How about one for the Chargers rookie safety Rayshawn Jenkins? Jenkins has been quiet so far this preseason, but he’ll make some noise tonight while bringing down Sean Mannion.
The Chargers will score on a kickoff/punt return
This prediction might not seem over the top, but this type of play is a rarity for the Chargers. WR Isaiah Burse and RB Kenjon Barner are both capable return men, and one of them is going to break free for a score at some point during the game. Few plays are as electrifying as a kickoff or punt return for a touchdown, and everyone watching will be in for a treat when it happens tonight in Los Angeles.
Do you have any predictions of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.