Los Angeles Chargers (1 – 2) lost the battle for the pride of L.A. last week when they were beaten 35 – 23 by the Rams at the Coliseum. Now they are in a battle for state bragging rights as the 49ers (1 – 2) travel to the StubHub Center in Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season.
The Chargers edge the stats but not by much. However, they were given a massive boost by their opponent’s injury news with Jimmy Garappolo out for the rest of the year. The impact on the 49ers was far worse; their playoff hopes all but died when the prognosis on his knee was delivered.
LA Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers Match Preview
The 49ers make the short trip to Los Angeles ruing the second ACL injury to disrupt their season but won’t be taken any less likely according to Chargers head coach, Anthony Lynn.
His replacement, CJ Beathard, was Lynn reminded us at the heart of the offence which beat the Giants last season. “He can move around a little bit; they do more things with him. I believe he can function well in that offence,” he added.
Both franchises failed to live up to the expectations of their finish to 2017. The Chargers recorded a win in Buffalo in Week 2 while the same weekend saw the 49ers beat the Lions at the Levi’s Stadium. Both lost to the Chiefs by similar scores in weeks 1 and 3 respectively.
These two met in the final week of preseason when the Chargers won 23 – 21 with Roberto Aguayo scoring the decisive field goal at Santa Clara. There’s no sense this will be as close.
The Chargers outscore San Francisco by three points on average although allow opponents more points. However, they are outpassing the 49ers by 34 yards per game and only clawing 28.4 back on rushing.
The biggest concern is defence. Allowing 29.7 points per game marks the 49ers as tighter than tonight’s hosts (31.0 average). Yet, their biggest weakness is the Chargers strength. San Francisco allows 301.7 average passing yards to a team with a 302 average offensively; the 49ers are made for the Chargers.
LA Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers Team News
Linebacker Kyzir White is out for the Chargers as are tackle Joe Barksdale and defensive end Joey Bosa. Wide Receivers Travis Benjamin and Keenan Allen are expected to make kick-off.
The 49ers are without Jimmy Garappolo for the remainder of 2018 with Joshua Garnett also out. Matt Breida is expected to be fit as is fellow Running Back Alfred Morris. Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt are doubts while Marcell Harris is expected to join Garappolo later this week on injured reserve.
LA Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers Head-to-Head
It’s a tight contest between the two with the 49ers marginally ahead with 64 – 62 with three tied.
LA Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers Form Guide
Last five most recent matches
LA Chargers: LWLWL
San Francisco 49ers: LWLLL
LA Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers Key Men
Matt Breida is averaging 8.6 yards, topping the league. He also claims half the 49ers explosive runs and with Garappolo out, expect Beathard to go to Breida more frequently.
George Kittle is likely to be Beathard’s first pass, however. Jatavis Brown will take over from Kyzir White and his defensive work is sure to be tested by the wily Kittle. Physically, the match-up is fairly even but the tight end is a cunning offensive force for San Francisco.
It isn’t all offensive play for the 49ers. DeForest Buckner is high on the leaderboard for both sacks and tackles this season, casting a daunting presence over opposition offences.
He is likely to find himself opposite Dan Feeney. The 24-year-old Guard is struggling for form this season and in stopping Buckner is likely to need help from the running backs until he ups his own game. Doing so against Buckner could bolster his confidence for the rest of season.
Los Angeles eyes will, however, turn to Melvin Ingram. The only pass rusher to get through the Rams last week, bar the sacking of Brandon Mebanes. It’s a record which could easily see the Chargers struggle and stumble to defeat. There’s a lot of pressure on Ingram while the rest of the team misfires.
LA Chargers vs San Francisco 49ers Prediction
Despite their woes in the city derby last week, the Chargers have too much firepower for the 49ers defence. Garappolo’s absence hurts San Francisco not just tonight but for the rest of the year which puts a huge amount of pressure on CJ Beathard. LA will look to exploit that, knowing they need points on the board to cover their own defensive deficiencies.
That’s why we think this is marked as a Chargers win at 2/9 with Novibet.