X-Factors: Chargers Vs. Seahawks

Chase Bendel
Chargers quarterback Chase Daniel escapes the pocket against the Rams

X-Factors: Chargers Vs. Seahawks

We are finally heading into the last week of the pre-season. While there are great things about training camp and the pre-season, I am thrilled that we are going to see the new team and coaching staff at full capacity in a couple of weeks.

The Los Angeles Chargers are taking on the Seattle Seahawks in the third and final game of the pre-season. While most of the roster seems to be figured out, there are a few players that are on the bubble of making the roster or not that will need to impress this game. These players will also be the main determining factor into if the Chargers are going to be able to win this game. Let’s get into the different x-factors.

Trey Pipkins and Storm Norton

While I believe the offensive line as a whole is what needs to be talked about after the embarrassing performance last week, it really comes down to Trey Pipkins and Storm Norton. I would say that they both played a bad game, but that would be generous of me. When Head Coach Brandon Staley was asked about their game against the 49ers Sunday he said “those two guys got a really accurate picture of where they’re at.” While I love and greatly appreciate how straightforward Coach Staley is here, it is very concerning for where these two are at in their respective developments.

NFL insider Gregg Rosenthal wrote on NFL.com about notable players that could get cut in the coming weeks. Pipkins was included on this list. The 2019 third-round pick is in serious trouble of not getting a roster spot. The Chargers are not going to be able to get off to a good start and win the game if Pipkins and Norton do not set the tone from the beginning and keep their quarterback (Stick or Daniel) protected.

I am also keeping an eye on how many snaps each will be playing. I doubt that Rashawn Slater plays very much, so it will be interesting to see how much each of the backup tackles play.

Quarterback Chase Daniel

I really like Chase Daniel as a backup quarterback and believe that he will be the one to have that job in the regular season. It was quite obvious that he did not play well against the 49ers. I definitely do not put all of the blame on him, the offensive line was terrible and he played the second half with mainly third and fourth string players.

The offense was only able to score 10 points against the 49ers last week and wasn’t ever able to get in any sort of rhythm going. You could tell how frustrating that game was for Daniel because there was no flow to the offense at all.

We recently received word that Daniel is going to start and play the entire first half on Saturday. The offense has extremely struggled in the second half of games this pre-season so this is a great opportunity for Daniel to get reps with receivers like Tyron Johnson and Josh Palmer.

I am hoping that Daniel takes this opportunity to improve upon the last game, show the coaches that he is the right man for the backup quarterback job, and most importantly go and win the game.

Staying healthy

I can’t stress this one enough, it is extremely important the Chargers make it through this game without a significant player sustain a major injury. Many of those players aren’t playing but the Chargers are down to very few healthy receivers. It is essential especially when it comes to the receivers that none of them can get injured.

You never want to go into the season down a major contributor to the team, which I can’t remember the last time they didn’t go into a season with this not happening. Thankfully, the Chargers seem relatively healthy compared to other off-seasons, and *hopefully* that will stay that way.

Win or lose, it will be significant if these three things listed actually happen. If Pipkins, Norton, and Daniel all play well, there is a really good chance the Chargers are going to win this game. Lastly, and most importantly, staying healthy will provide the Chargers with an advantage they haven’t had heading into a season in a very long time.

Chargers quarterback Chase Daniel escapes the pocket against the Rams. Via LA Daily News