New week, new set of things I’ll be watching for tonight as the Chargers host the 49ers inside of SoFi Stadium.
Let’s get into it.
Easton Stick gets his first NFL “start”
In the Chargers’ first preseason game against the Rams, Stick came in during the second half and proceeded to complete all seven of his pass attempts on the night for 63 yards. He didn’t make any plays with his legs which is something we’ve come to expect when he’s running the offense but he did enough to keep the offense moving and close out the close 13-6 victory.
Tonight, Stick is getting the nod to start the game and it remains to be seen if Chase Daniel will take over at some point. I don’t know about you, but I’d take an entire game of Stick in a heartbeat.
With plenty of young playmakers around him, this is Stick’s best opportunity to prove to the Chargers that he’s worth keeping around or, at the very least, show that he could be of use to another team in need of a young backup.
Will Vizcaino be the first kicker to see attempts once again?
Vizcaino was the only kicker to receive field goal attempts against the Rams. He went two-for-two with a long of 38 yards. That’s nothing crazy but leaving the game without a miss is huge when we’re talking about kickers for the Chargers. Before and after that game, Vizcaino finished five-for-five at practice which I felt really pushed him into the lead for the job ahead of Michael Badgley.
However, towards the end of this past week, Badgley started finishing with more makes than misses compared to Vizcaino and all of a sudden it feels like there’s a true battle going on once more.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I hope there’s a fair amount of field goal attempts in tonight’s game because I’d love to see both kickers get a shot under the lights. Either way, you know this decision is likely going to last all the way through the team’s final cuts.
How will the defense rise up against a top-draft pick at quarterback?
The 49ers Trey Lance was this year’s third-overall pick in the draft. He’s a dual-threat quarterback that only played one season of starting football at North Dakota State in which he threw zero interceptions. Seriously. He went the entire year and didn’t turn the ball over once through the air. I don’t care what level you play at, that’s incredible.
In his preseason debut, Lance finished with just five completions on 14 attempts for 128 yards and a beautiful 80-yard touchdown he threw to receiver Trent Sherfield. Take that one throw away and you’re looking at a pretty underwhelming stat line.
It remains to be seen if any of the starters will be out there again but no matter what, neither of these players want to end up on the wrong side of Lance’s next highlight reel. Guys like Asante Samuel Jr. and Kyzir White will look to capitalize on their standout performances from a week ago against the young passer while others will look to make a statement ahead of the team’s next round of cuts.
LOVED this sequence by the Chargers defense:— Daniel Wade (@dantalkssports) August 15, 2021
- Christian Covington breaks through for the TFL
- Drue Tranquill screams in on the blitz to force the incompletion
- Kyzir White sniffs out the screen pass and totally blows up the play on third down pic.twitter.com/UFZoWwcK8D