X-Factors For Chargers Week 7 Matchup Against The Seahawks
The Chargers are heading into their week seven matchup against the Seattle Seahawks sitting at 4-2, winners of three in a row. They will be taking on the surprising Seattle Seahawks who are currently 3-3, outperforming nearly every expectation they had coming into the season. Their offense is playing extremely well, whether it’s in the air or on the ground. The Chargers will need to be at their best in this game.
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The Chargers have been dealing with many injuries that have made their offense much less effective than we should expect from them. They are going to need several players to step up if they are going to want to win this game to be 5-2 heading into the bye week. I will outline below three players or position groups that I feel will be the key to winning this game, i.e. the three x-factors for this Sunday.
X-Factor One: Gerald Everett
The Chargers struggled to do anything on offense against the Broncos last week, especially in the second half and throughout overtime. While the Seahawks aren’t near the level the Broncos defense is, the Chargers are desperate to find someone to help get this offense back to where it needs to be. They will be without three playmakers in Joshua Kelley, Joshua Palmer, and Donald Parham. On top of that, Keenan Allen has missed the past five games, and even if he plays, he won’t be near the factor that we are used to.
In comes Gerald Everett, who started the season on fire by surprising a lot of people, but has cooled off a bit. There are multiple reasons to bring up Everett, the Seahawks being his former team, and the Seahawks allowing the most receiving yards to tight ends in the NFL. The Chargers could not get anything going in the intermediate areas of the field, and Everett will be crucial in opening up the middle of the field. I’d consider it a success if he can haul in at least five receptions for 50 yards.
X-Factor Two: J.C. Jackson
This one may be a little obvious, but coming off one of the low points in JC Jackson’s career, he is very motivated to turn it around this coming week. Jackson struggled badly against the Broncos and is essentially responsible for the only real offense the Broncos were able to put together last week. The Chargers made a shocking move by benching him at halftime, which was completely necessary if the Chargers wanted to win.
I have been all about backing Jackson while he has struggled and giving him time. A lot of his mistakes are mental, which he has acknowledged. The Seahawks have two really good receivers in D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Jackson is going to have to be at the top of his game if the Chargers want to win, and also if Jackson doesn’t want to be on the bench again in the second half. Jackson leads the NFL in interceptions the past two seasons and is yet to come down with one this year. My prediction is that he finally is able to come down with one that helps bring back his confidence and gets him back to how he can play.
X-Factor Three: Pass rush
A lot of this game is going to hinge on if the Chargers are able to slow down the Seahawks electric rushing attack and be able to get to Geno Smith on obvious passing downs. Smith has been excellent this year and is quietly been the most efficient quarterback in the NFL. He’s not doing this by throwing short every play, he is making several big-time throws and is constantly pushing the ball down the field. The Chargers were able to get pressure early this season by just rushing four, but ever since Joey Bosa went down, teams are doubling Khalil Mack and shutting down the others.
Finally, last week, the Chargers changed it up with several well-timed blitzes, mainly from Drue Tranquill. They realized that they weren’t able to consistently get pressure from rushing four, so they brought pressure from up the middle which was a big reason they were able to beat the Broncos. Smith is going to be a factor with his legs so the Chargers will need to be a bit more cautious with when they send pressure. Mack is currently tied for second in the NFL with six sacks, they are going to need at least one from him this game to help set the tone.
This is a game that the Chargers should win, they are favored by five points at the time I am writing this, so there are plenty of reasons why they should win this game. The last three wins have all been games that the Chargers of old would’ve lost. I love seeing the team take a step in the right direction in winning those ugly games, but they are going to need to put together a complete game here soon. I have the Chargers coming away with the win here heading into the bye week sitting at 5-2.
Final score prediction: Chargers 27 Seahawks 20