The Chargers will be playing in prime time after getting flexed into “Sunday Night Football” against the Miami Dolphins. It might be another disappointing week for Chargers fans, but NFL games aren’t played on paper.
Miami Dolphins (-3.5, 52) at Chargers
Between the two L.A. games this week, this is the bet I like more and it has a lot to do with why I liked the Raiders last week against the Chargers. The loss of Corey Linsley completely changes everything for this offense. Linsley remains in concussion protocol but was a full participant in practice Thursday. Unfortunately, Trey Pipkins III appears to be doubtful again, so the Chargers will be up against it when it comes to protecting Justin Herbert.
Herbert threw for 335 yards last week, but that was on 47 attempts. The Chargers managed just 5.2 yards per play and 3.3 yards per carry against an awful Raiders defense. Miami’s stats look more like those of a league average defense, so it looks like tough sledding again for a one-dimensional offense with cluster injuries in the trenches.
To make matters worse, the Dolphins bring a top-five offense to SoFi Stadium against a defense that just can’t seem to make headway. While the Raiders were held to 27 points last week, they still racked up 404 yards and 6.8 yards per play. The Dolphins lead the NFL in yards per reception and are second to the Chiefs in yards per play.
The travel isn’t even a helping factor for the Chargers here because Miami stayed on the West Coast after last week’s game against the 49ers. Perhaps Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle injury is worse than what we’ve heard so far, but he gets to pick on a defense that ranks 31st in yards per play allowed and 27th in Pressure% per Pro-Football-Reference.
With the offensive line injuries, the Chargers are unlikely to keep pace in a shootout, which is what this game projects to be with the second-highest total on the board.
Pick: Dolphins -3
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