Los Angeles, CA (CBS LA)- The Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) host the Houston Texans (1-1) in an AFC matchup this Sunday, September 22nd, with kickoff set for 1:25 p.m. Pacific Time on CBS.
The Chargers are coming off a loss to the Detroit Lions last week in which the offense struggled to score. So seeing the Texans defense, featuring J.J. Watt, Zach Cunningham and company, on the schedule isn’t exactly the respite they may have hoped for. But the offense’s struggles were compounded by the fact that replacement kicker Ty Long missed a pair of field goals, triggering nightmares of past seasons.
Still, despite the questions at kicker, there is plenty to be hopeful about for the team as they head into the weekend battle with Houston.
“Austin Ekeler has been very good these first two weeks. We know what Keenan Allen can do as a premier receiver. On the other side of the ball, with Bosa and Ingram coming off the corner, keeping Deshaun Watson in the pocket will be very important,” said The NFL Today studio analyst Bill Cowher. “Picking up Thomas Davis to secure that inside was a very good pickup for them in the offseason.”
The defense will have a difficult task on its hands in corralling Watson, who has continued to make off-schedule plays for the Texans through two weeks. The Chargers defense ranks just 24th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric through two games, struggling against both the run and pass. However, as Cowher mentioned, the pair of pass rushers in Bosa and Ingram could have a field day against the Texans offensive line, which ranks dead last in pass protection by Outsiders’ metrics through two games.
Houston made a big move to bolster the offensive line in adding left tackle Laremy Tunsil from the Dolphins prior to the season opener, but it hasn’t paid off so far, with the unit giving up 10 sacks and allowing a league-high 14.2% adjusted sack rate.
However, for as bad as the Texans offensive line has been, the Chargers’ group has been below average so far as well, ranking 19th in adjusted sack rate at 7% while giving up five sacks through the first two games. That makes the matchup particularly interesting, as the teams appear to have very similar strengths and weaknesses entering Sunday.
They will settle things on the field with kickoff set for 1:25 p.m. Pacific Time on CBS.