The Chargers bought themselves a little goodwill and a slight cushion by surviving the Atlanta Falcons 20-17 coming out of the bye, but it wasn’t exactly the performance you’d want to see with two weeks of preparation. A similar effort this week will see the San Francisco 49ers blowout on Sunday Night Football, an outcome suggested by the game’s betting line.
Chargers at the San Francisco 49ers (-7, 45.5)
Imagine what that line would look like if the 49ers were successful at football this season. The Chargers are among the worst-run defenses in the NFL, although it’s not like they did much better against the pass either. Now they’re drawing a 49ers offense after a bye week that gave offensive evil genius Kyle Shanahan a little more time to figure out how to fit more of Christian McCaffrey into the playbook.
McCaffrey had 149 rushing + receiving yards and also threw a touchdown pass in the Week 8 win against the Rams. It wasn’t much of a surprise that he didn’t include much in the game plan against the Chiefs as he played 23 snaps after midweek trading. He was completely unleashed against the Rams and became a complete game changer when he touched the ball on 27 of his 43 snaps.
The Chargers are up against one of the best playmakers in the game on defense, and they will once again be short of playmakers on offense. Keenan Allen has not trained all week with his Achilles tendon injury and Mike Williams is sidelined with a high ankle sprain. Believe the Chargers they found a way to beat the Falcons, but Atlanta has one of the worst defenses in the league. The 49ers are a top 10 or top 5 defense on virtually every metric.
Justin Herbert threw 43 times against the Falcons and the Chargers still only managed five yards a game. Josh Palmer had eight catches for 106 yards after exiting concussion protocol. Austin Ekeler had 71 yards on his 21 touches, averaging 3.4 yards per carry and reception. It’s difficult to gauge Herbert between the rib injury and his ability players’ losses this season, but this offense is the antithesis of momentum. The team’s longest touchdown game this season is 23 yards.
With a once again diluted squad, the 49ers will put up a tougher test than the Falcons this week. It seems unlikely that the Chargers defense will hold up. Atlanta rushed for 201 yards on just 35 carries last week. What will the 49ers do with a fully committed McCaffrey? Not to mention Jimmy Garoppolo and the pass attack, which was surprisingly good. This is a poor matchup for the Chargers at full health. And they are not even able to say that.
Choice: 49ers -7
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https://www.latimes.com/sports/chargers/story/2022-11-11/chargers-san-francisco-49ers-betting-odds-lines-picks Chargers vs. San Francisco 49ers: Betting odds, lines and picks