Total Offense: 5th (402 YPG)
Passing Offense: 9th (273.2 YPG)
Rushing Offense: 7th (128.8 YPG)
Scoring Offense: T-7th (27.9 PPG)
The Los Angeles Chargers offense is led by 2004 NFL Draft classmate of Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers. Rivers’ 2018 campaign has been one of the best in recent memory, and is fresh off of setting the NFL single game record for completion percentage with a minimum of 20 attempts (96%). Rivers is fiery quarterback who wears his emotions on his sleeves, but his play has done most of the talking this season. Rivers currently sits with a 26-2 touchdown to interception ratio, while also touting a 115.7 passer rating. When the Chargers get into a rhythm, there are only a handful of quarterbacks that put up the numbers Rivers is capable of doing, as he has shown he can make any throw asked of him.
With Melvin Gordon out, LA will turn to second year running back Austin Ekeler to shoulder the workload in the backfield. Ekeler saw a decent amount of playing time while Gordon was healthy, and was proficient with 5.8 yards per rush averaged on 70 carries. LA isn’t expected to change much of their offense with Gordon out thanks in-part to Ekeler’s ability to run well and catch the ball out of the backfield as well. Rookie Justin Jackson is also expected to aid in the rushing attack, seeing 7 attempts last week following Gordon’s exit.
Despite the Chargers success thus far, many will point to the offensive line as a weak point of focus. Per Pro Football Focus, the Chargers come into week 13 with the 28th worst ranked offensive line. Despite what some metrics may say, LA has done a decent job keeping Rivers upright when passing, allowing only 19 sacks on the season (23rd in the league). The offensive line come Sunday night will read as following from left to right: Russell Okung, Dan Feeney, Mike Pouncey, Michael Schofield, Sam Tevi.
LA features one of (in my opinion) the better receiving corps in the league. Keenan Allen presides as the team’s number one receiver, catching 69 passes for 848 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year. The Chargers receiving corps also features the likes of Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin, all capable of making plays across the field. The tight end position is handled by both Virgil Green and long-time Charger Antonio Gates, both combining for 34 catches and 3 scores on the year.
LA’s offense is run by offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, a familiar name for Steelers fans. Whisenhunt is in his third season running the offense for LA, and has done relatively well. While rumors swirl of him leaving the NFL to coach his Alma mater Georgia Tech, the Chargers are in the midst of a great season offensively and will present another challenge for the Steelers defense.