The San Diego Chargers remain one of the true enigmas of the 2016 NFL Season thus far. They’ve been in absolutely every game this season, having a chance to win all six of them. Yet here they are, entering Week 7 with a lowly 2-4 record. Though that’s not disastrous, it makes you wonder. This team has convinced many, clearly playing above what their record would indicate. San Diego has historically struggled against Atlanta though, going 1-8 all-time against them, and not having won in Atlanta since 1988. The Chargers might just have the team to break that record though today.
For Atlanta, nobody expected them to be this good this season. Even in losses, they have looked pretty impressive. With the Panthers faltering, that NFC South division looks to be theirs this year, and with good reason. Last week the Falcons lost a tough one in Seattle, and now sit with a 4-1 record. Shades of last year surely have to be creeping in, when they began 5-0 and imploded after their first defeat. Atlanta is a tougher group this season says head coach Dan Quinn. We’ll find out on Sunday.
Two very good teams will battle during the 4:00 hour of Week 7 as the Chargers travel across the country to take on the Falcons. Read on below for full game details and a betting prediction.
Chargers vs. Falcons Betting Odds:
San Diego Chargers +6 (-115)
@ Atlanta Falcons -6 (-105)
Over 54 (-110)
Under 54 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Chargers vs. Falcons Pick:
Right now the Falcons offence seems on another level. Julio Jones looks again like the best receiver in football, though their offensive unit will receive a stiff test in Week 7. The Chargers boast impressive personnel throughout their defensive unit. Brandon Flowers and Jason Verrett in the secondary should be able to deal with the challenge. Though Verrett likely won’t play, Flowers probably is, and he’ll make things difficult on Julio. Even if they both don’t suit up, look for Casey Heyward to be able to do a job on Jones. Though you can’t truly stop him, if they limit his touches – it’ll go a long way for the Chargers on Sunday.
In order to limit Atlanta’s effectiveness, the Chargers will look to get to Matt Ryan with regularity. That can be accomplished as San Diego boasts a sneaky, good defensive front. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are unbelievable coming off the edge and form one of football’s best rushing tandems. Bosa has been remarkable in the games he has played this season, and look for him to be a thorn in the side of Matt Ryan throughout this contest.
On the ground, San Diego is stout in this area as well. Brandon Mebane is a beast in the middle of the line, and there won’t be much room to run for Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman. They’ll likely need to do their damage as pass-catchers coming out of the backfield, but again, this linebacking crew is great in coverage.
For the other side of the football, San Diego figures to give Philip Rivers a ton of time and space in the pocket for this game. The Falcons do not have a very good pass rush, and this should give Rivers exactly what he needs to carve through Atlanta’s secondary. Tight-ends in particular have gashed the Falcons of late, and the young and talented Hunter Henry is well-equipped to take advantage of this mismatch.
I’d also expect Atlanta is especially concerned about their vulnerable secondary and what Rivers can/will do to them. Look for them to really focus on limiting the pass, and this in turn should open up the ground game for Melvin Gordon. Rivers destroyed Denver’s secondary in his last outing, and the Falcons won’t want to get beat by him like that. Holes should be there for Gordon to take advantage of.
This is a good match-up for the Chargers, a team many don’t realize is quite good. Despite their 2-4 record, that easily could be 4-2, and as a result they remain undervalued. Their defence with Bosa is on another level right now, and they’ll be ready after a long layoff to pounce on a fatigued and travelled-out Falcons squad returning home. Not only do I think San Diego keeps things close, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see them win outright. Roll with the Chargers in Week 7.
PICK = Chargers +6 (-115)