The Los Angeles Chargers (0-3) are starting a quarterback who was only two years old when Tom Brady entered the league back in 2000. With Brady now under center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1), the two will face off on Sunday afternoon.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers made the switch to Justin Herbert just before kickoff of their Week 2 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, after Tyrod Taylor suffered a punctured lung while getting an injection for his bruised ribs. The offense has been solid with Herbert, who has 641 passing yards on the season. The key number of note is his 129.2 passer rating while facing pressure, which is third-best in the NFL. He is also just the second rookie quarterback since 1970 to throw for over 300 yards in his first two career starts, joining Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback Kyler Murray.
The running game for the Chargers is led by Austin Ekeler, who has 236 rushing yards on 47 carries. Los Angeles will need to be creative in the rush game in order to overcome a stout rush defense of the Buccaneers. They’re only allowing 2.9 yards per attempt and haven’t given up a 100-yard rusher since Week 11 of 2019.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
For Tampa Bay, they will once again be missing one of their top targets in wide receiver Chris Godwin, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) has also been ruled out. Despite the injuries, Brady still has weapons to work with. Wide receiver Mike Evans is one of three players in the NFL, who has a touchdown catch in each game this year. The veteran quarterback will look to target him more, as well as tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Ronald Jones II out of the backfield.
The defense is the story for the Buccaneers. They are top three in every category against the run. The secondary was a question mark entering the season, but rookie defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. has shored up the back end effectively. They are tied for second in the league with four interceptions.
Date: October 4, 2020
Start Time: 1:00 P.M. est
Location: Tampa, Florida
Stadium: Raymond James Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Betting Odds Sponsored by Jazz Sportsbook
Point Spread: LAC +7 (-110) | TB -7 (-110)
Moneyline: LAC +255 | TB -330
Over/Under: O 42.5 (-110) | U 42.5 (-110)
The Chargers defense is riddled with injuries and Brady is building more chemistry with his receivers. Expect the Buccaneers to put up points in bunches.
The third-ranked rush defense of Tampa Bay will be difficult for the Chargers to overcome unless Herbert can exploit their young secondary while under pressure. Brady’s passer rating has increased each week in 2020, and that trend should continue against the beat-up Los Angeles secondary. Expect the score to be closer than the actual game, which the Buccaneers will control.
Final Score: Chargers 17, Buccaneers 27
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