The talented Bosa brothers, Nick who plays for the San Francisco 49ers and Joey with the Chargers in Los Angeles, had big games last Sunday. The 49ers rookie is having an MVP season and is a key reason the 49ers have shot out of the gate with seven straight wins. His brother, in Los Angeles, has played well this year but his team, the Chargers, have won only three of eight games.
The Chargers did win last week, as Bosa was key in disrupting the Chicago Bears offense at Soldier Field and paving the way for a narrow Los Angeles win, 17-16. The play of the two added up to a pair of brothers being named their conference Players of the Week for the first time in history.
Now, I’m certain Joey would be happy to give up the accolade for a few more wins to get his Chargers back in the hunt in the AFC West. As for Nick, the honor just adds to the spectacular rookie season for the 49ers first round draft choice.
The 49ers will look to end an eight game losing streak against the Cardinals on Thursday night in Arizona, in search of their eighth straight win of the season. On Sunday, the Chargers will look to get back into the race in the AFC West when they host the Green Bay Packers.
There are a couple very fortunate situations for the Chargers this Sunday. First, they are catching the Packers the week after they won an emotional road contest against the Kansas City Chiefs. Second, the Packers win handed Kansas City their third loss in their four most recent games and cracks the door for the Chargers, Raiders or Broncos to close in on the front runner. The Chargers also have the opportunity to make up ground on the AFC West leader with both regular season contests with the Chiefs still to be played.
The Packers, conversely, coming off their big win in Kansas City have only lost once this season and maintain a one game lead in their division ahead of their toughest challenger, the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings now follow the Packers into a contest at Arrowhead Stadium against the Chiefs, while the Packers look to beat the Chargers on the road.
What we have here is the Packers sitting atop their division standings and the Chargers in need of a win to get into their race. This creates a textbook need verses want scenario.
The Chargers have had problems this year with close losses and the holdout of their most explosive runningback, Melvin Gordon.
The five-year pro held-out in search of a new contract and missed all of training camp and the first four weeks of the regular season. The Chargers split the four games Gordon missed, but upon his return four weeks ago, things got worse. Until last week’s win in Chicago, the Chargers were winless in three games with Gordon in the backfield.
In Chicago, the Chargers limited the load on their once prolific runner, he carried the ball only eight times. He now has 44 carries in his four games back and has rushed for only 112 yards. Not exactly the stuff that would prompt the Chargers to meet his contract demands.
Okay, the Chargers are off to a bad start, and the war with their one-time leading rusher is not adding any impetus behind them getting better anytime soon. But, the Chargers do have something going for them with quarterback Philip Rivers.
He has a history of pulling hot finishes out of bad starts, and with the bad start behind the Chargers, we can look for them to hit their stride and get back into the thick of the playoff hunt. The arrogance of Gordon will soon be replaced by his need to step up his game to warrant the money his agent is looking to negotiate.
And then, there is Bosa, a force on defense that when healthy, like now, is one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the game.
What this all adds up to is a big day on Sunday in Los Angeles for the home team when the Packers come to town looking for a second straight road win over an AFC West opponent.
Basic stuff … The Packers want it but the Chargers need it.
Qoxhi Picks: Los Angeles Chargers (+3½) over Green Bay Packers