By Buck Coquillette
Following a busy week six, the league heads into its seventh week of play with some unexpected matchups. Four teams, including the Bills, Eagles, Vikings, and Rams, all have bye weeks, leaving 14 matchups across the board. The matchup of this week is the Seattle Seahawks (3-3 ) versus the Los Angeles Chargers (4-2).
The Seahawks, coming off of a big win against the Arizona Cardinals, look to make a statement against Justin Herbert and the Chargers. Quarterback Geno Smith, who is fourth in the league for quarterback rating with 68.3, looks to continue his impressive comeback season with a win against Los Angeles. With running back Rashad Penny out for the season, rookie Kenneth Walker III takes over the RB1 position after a solid performance last week against Arizona. The 22-year-old had 97 yards on 21 carries with one touchdown. In addition, receivers Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf look to have a big performance against a weaker Chargers secondary.
After a very rocky start, the Seattle defense looks to continue their positive progress after holding the Cardinals to just nine points last week, compared to the 30.8 average points per game the weeks prior. Rookie Tariq Woolen has been an upside surprise, with four interceptions and a 36.9 passer rating allowed when he is the nearest defender. Their defensive line also looked much better than the previous weeks, with six sacks and only 44 rushing yards.
Led by third-year quarterback Justin Herbert, the Chargers’ dangerous offense looks to capitalize on the inconsistent Seahawks. Herbert, who is fourth in the league in passing yards, might have a familiar face returning to the field. Also, five-time pro bowler and veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen could return to play this week after exiting week one’s game versus the Raiders with a hamstring injury. The Chargers’ offensive line has been solid, only letting up seven sacks this season. As a result, the offense leads the league in passing attempts with 257. Even running back Austin Ekeler has fit in well with this year’s passing offense, with 37 receptions.
Defensively, the Chargers have been a little shaky as well, apart from their solid performance against the struggling Denver offense. Veteran cornerback JC Jackson, who the Chargers signed this offseason, has been very underwhelming and, due to his poor play, was benched at halftime last week. However, coach Brandon Staley says that Jackson will indeed start this Sunday. Without pass rusher Joey Bosa (who suffered a groin injury in week 3), the Chargers will rely on linebacker Khalil Mack to lead the defense.
This Seahawks vs. Chargers game should be a great matchup to watch, as both teams have been improving each week throughout the season.