The Chargers have one more test before a much-needed bye week. The 3-3 Seahawks are coming to SoFi this Sunday and they’re playing some inspired football behind Geno Smith who has looked as good as he ever has in his career thus far in 2022. Add in the likes of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and you’ve got yourself a duo that can make any quarterback look good.
J.C. Jackson will be back in the starting lineup to face these dynamic pass catchers and it’s tough not to already think what would happen should he stumble once again by allowing huge, momentum-shifting plays.
Luckily things could be in the Chargers favors even if they get into something of a track meet. Seattle isn’t looking too hot on defense and that could bode well enough for a Bolts offense that may be without Joshua Palmer and Donald Parham on Sunday (concussions).
Below are the three things I’ll be watching the closest when this game kicks off this weekend.
1.) How will J.C. Jackson respond to his benching on Monday night?
Two days after Jackson was benched against the Broncos, Brandon Staley gave him a resurgence of trust by announcing he would start this week against the Seahawks. Now that’s not terribly surprising due to his hefty price tag, but despite the abysmal start he is still the guy who leads the NFL in interceptions (25) since he entered the league in 2018.
For most of the game against Seattle, Jackson will draw either Tyler Lockett or D.K. Metcalf. Both players can take the top off of a defense and while one is obviously much more physically imposing than the other, but their both dangerous, nonetheless.
Jackson told the media earlier this week that her plans to do a bit more studying, as well as being the first guy in the building and the last one to leave going forward. I like the acknowledgement regarding his struggles, but only time will tell if it will pay off soon enough.
2.) Justin Herbert should bounce back against the 30th-ranked defense
For the first time in over 30 games, Herbert failed to throw a touchdown. The Broncos defense was a top-three passing defense going in to Monday Night Football and they definitely showed up in primetime.
But now with that game out of the way, Herbert and the Chargers offense gets a defense ranked on the other side of the spectrum. Heading into week seven, the Seahawks are 30th in total defense (410.8), 21st in pass defense, and 31st in run defense.
This is an excellent opportunity for Herbert and Co. to get back on track, as long as Joe Lombardi isn’t mashing the “X” button to call “Stick” on repeat and Keenan Allen finally returns to the field for the first time since exiting in week one.
3.) Could Michael Bandy be in line for a sizable workload due mounting injuries?
Nothing is for certain as I am writing this, but the Chargers could very well be without Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer, and Donald Parham this Sunday. The former is still rehabbing from his hamstring injury while the latter two were listed on the injury report with concussions to begin the week. If all three do not suit up against the Seahawks, the top wide receivers left on the roster would include Mike Williams, DeAndre Carter, Michael Bandy, and Jason Moore. If I had to put my money on which backup receiver would see the biggest rise in looks, I’d put it on Bandy who has already proved he can show up in spot duty.
Against the Texans, with the team needing to go down and put points on he board, Bandy caught both of his targets for 49 yards. Those have remained his only two catches, but if worst comes to worse, he should be in line for a decent target share this week.