The 0-2 Panthers head into La La Land without their biggest weapon, Christian McCaffrey joining a slew of other NFL studs injured at the moment and their task? To beat a Chargers side who looked good in an OT loss to the Champion Chiefs last week.
The Panthers haven’t been awful in their two outings so far this year and arguably could’ve stolen the opener against the Raiders but winning games is an even tougher proposition for them now without Run CMC and their trio at WR will really have to perform if they’re going to stay competitive as their defense can’t be trusted to keep them in games let alone win them, the run defense is awful and they’ve given up 3 rushing scores in both games so far this season.
The Chargers surprised me mightily against the Chiefs and were unlucky not to win the game, the defense which is known as a Seattle Scheme (rush 4, drop 7. Zone coverage) is well equipped to deal with Mahomes and the Chiefs passing game tendencies and they should have enough to keep the Panthers quiet enough here too. Justin Herbert was very impressive in his first NFL start and was unlucky to be on the losing side, he looks like he’s going to take to the league like a duck to water and I’m excited to see him in this one but where i really think the Chargers can have success and look to take advantage in this matchup is their run game, Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley should both be in for big days with Ekeler in particular I’m sure looking to get off the mark this year and show his worth with that new contract in his pocket against a porous Panther run D.
PREDICTION: CHARGERS 24 – 17 PANTHERS
BEST BET: Austin Ekeler Anytime TD – 1/1 with Betfair. 2 point bet.