Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Week 3 Preview

Houston Texans vs. Los Angeles Chargers: Week 3 Preview

by September 20, 2019 0 comments

The Los Angeles Chargers likely slip below .500 as they take on the visiting Houston Texans.

These two teams have only faced each other a total of six times, with Los Angeles winning five of the six. Philip Rivers has been the quarterback for the Chargers in four of the six games, and he was at the helm when the Chargers blew a 21-point lead to lose 31-28. While the teams have faced each other six times, it is the first time Rivers and Deshaun Watson will be facing each other. One team led by experience and one team led by youth will lend itself to an enticing matchup.

The Texans’ performance this weekend should give fans a more accurate view of what the rest of the season will look like. A dominant, albeit losing, performance Week 1 over the New Orleans Saints (then led by Drew Brees) was quickly canceled out by a lackluster win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The way Watson played Week 1 was reminiscent of last season, proving that it was not a fluke. In the final minutes of the game, in two passes, Watson took the lead back from the Saints, something even Brees couldn’t do as the team had to win by a long field goal. While the Texans’ defense had a tough time containing Brees, Gardner Minshew II did not fare quite as well. In terms of skill, Rivers is closer to Brees, so it will be interesting to see how they plan to stop him. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ defense will have their own share of difficulties containing Deandre Hopkins, Will Fuller V, and Kenny Stills, not to mention Carlos Hyde. Among the questionable for the Texans are Taiwan Jones (elbow), Larmey Tunsil (ankle) and Senio Kelemete (wrist).

The Chargers are entering the matchup with a 1-1 record. In their first game against the Colts, they narrowly avoided a loss, while their game against the Detroit Lions did end in a loss. In both games, the Chargers had an early lead and lost it. The key to winning this matchup will be maintaining their lead. The Texans are a team to be taken seriously. A massive flaw for the Chargers right now is the ground game. Austin Ekeler is doing a great job filling the shoes of Melvin Gordon, ranking first in touchdowns (four) and second in total yards (287) for running backs. The problem is that his numbers are actually better as a receiver than a running back right now, which is what they need. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams seem to be doing just fine handling the wide receiver position (even though are struggling with knee injuries). Justin Jackson is waiting in the wings to help Ekeler run the ball but despite strong performances last year, the Chargers don’t seem eager to use him.

Joining Hunter Henry on the list of injured is Mike Pouncey (shoulder), Michael Davis (hamstring), and Keenan Allen (knee), who was limited in practice Thursday. Adrian Phillips (forearm) recently moved to the Injured Reserve and Michael Badgley will finally suit up. The Chargers recently signed veteran tight end Lance Kendricks in an attempt to fill the Henry-sized hole at the position.

Game Info

Date: Sunday, September 22, 2019

Start Time: 4:25 pm EST

Location: Carson, CA

Stadium: Dignity Health Sports Park

TV Info: CBS

Prediction

Both of these teams were in the playoffs last year, so neither is likely to overlook the other. The Chargers’ offensive line is going to face a difficult challenge in keeping a J.J. Watt-led Texans defense away from Rivers. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ defense seems to only be able to control one area of the ball per game. The Colts were successful on the ground against them, while the Lions were successful in the air. With such a well-rounded Texans team rolling into town, it’s hard to believe L.A. will maintain control.

Final Score: Houston Texans 34, Los Angeles Chargers 17

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