It’s time for the battle of LA. The Rams and the Chargers are not only trying to win games, but they’re also fighting for fans in their new city.
We’ll break down what you need to know as the big game approaches. We’ll show you stats and figures, and compare matchups between players and coaches.
Defensive Line: Michael Brockers vs. Melvin Ingram
Michael Brockers represents one of three talented players, including Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, that comprise the Rams’ powerful defensive line. Though they gave up an average of 122 rushing yards per game last season, that’s better than the Chargers average of 131.
The Rams are expected to perform better in their running game, though Melvin Ingram poses a potential problem. Ingram enjoyed the first Pro Bowl of his career last season with a career high in tackles and sacks. His size, strength and agility make this a toss-up.
Running Backs: Todd Gurley vs. Melvin Gordon
AP Offensive Player of the Year in 2017, Todd Gurley accumulated 2,093 yards from scrimmage and found the end zone 19 times. This was enough to get his jersey on the list of 50 most popular, a list void of any Chargers. Melvin Gordon‘s improvements were not enough to raise him above the merits of his competitor. Although still a competent player, the Rams have the superior running back.
Once a highly valued position, the role of running back has since waned in its importance. Regardless, Gurley will have an important part to play in dominating the Chargers this weekend at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Quarterbacks: Jared Goff vs. Philip Rivers
The Chargers have a clear advantage when comparing quarterback stats. Philip Rivers has six touchdowns, completing 73.1 percent of his passes for 680 yards. He currently ranks third in the NFL in touchdown passes, making him a player to watch.
Jared Goff, while behind Rivers on paper, is a strong player and should make a big contribution to the Rams’ success. Right now, he’s at 64.6 percent for his passes with three touchdowns and one interception. So far, the Rams have been good enough to make that work.
Coaches: Sean McVay vs. Anthony Lynn
The youngest head coach in modern NFL history, McVay took a 4-12 team to 11-5 in his first year. He’s built on that success this year, and is perfect through the first two games. His high standards and strict discipline honed the team into a force of nature, conditioning their attitude on the field. Though he may be young, he shows incredible determination.
The Rams and the Chargers are not only trying to win games, but they’re also fighting for fans in their new city.
Lynn, on the other hand, is a former NFL running back with in-game experience that informs his current coaching style. He’s seen moderate success in his time with the team, and has some bigger expectations this season. However, NFL.com listed him the worst of all 32 head coaches, a rank that doesn’t bode well for hopeful Charger fans.
The Chargers will put up a fight. However, it’s going to take one heck of a game from Rivers and a few mistakes from the Rams if they want to pull off the upset.