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10 Insights: Gordon, Ekeler NFL’s Top RB Tandem 

Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, October 7, 2018 in Carson, CA. Final score: 10-26. (Eddie Perlas/Chargers)

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Below are 10 quick-hitting insights entering the Chargers’ Week 6 matchup against the Browns:

1) The Chargers are one of five teams that have scored at least 21 points in all of their games this season (Kansas City, Cincinnati, New Orleans and the Rams).

2) Cleveland leads the NFL with a +8 turnover differential. They’ve forced four more takeaways (15) than the Bears, who rank second with 11. Los Angeles has committed just one turnover in its three wins.

3) Philip Rivers, who’s completing 70.1 percent of his passes, has thrown for 13 touchdowns to just two interceptions. Only the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes has more passing touchdowns (14) through the first five weeks.

4) The Chargers have three players who rank in the top 30 in yards from scrimmage: Melvin Gordon (4th, 595 yards), Austin Ekeler (22nd, 410 yards) and Keenan Allen (30th, 377 yards). The Rams have four players inside the top 30. No other team has more than two.

5) Ekeler and Gordon are the only running back duo in the league with over 1,000 yards combined from scrimmage – 1,005 to be exact. The next closest is the Jets’ tandem of Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell (795 total yards).

6) Perhaps the two most impressive defensive rookies in the NFL will share the field Sunday in Cleveland: Chargers safety Derwin James and Browns cornerback Denzel Ward. Entering Week 6, James has 31 total tackles (four for loss), five quarterback hits, three sacks and an interception. Ward has 25 total tackles (one for loss) and three interceptions -- tied for tops in the league. He also blocked a field goal last Sunday against Baltimore, earning him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

7) Sunday marks the second straight game the Chargers will face a rookie left tackle. Cleveland’s Desmond Harrison – an undrafted rookie from West Georgia – now occupies the position that future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas held for the previous 11 seasons. Last week against the Raiders, the Chargers defense matched up across a pair of rookie tackles: Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker.

8) Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield is the fourth quarterback the Chargers will have faced this season with five or fewer NFL starts entering the game.

9) In last season’s 19-10 win over the Browns, Rivers threw for 344 yards and one touchdown. Wide receiver Keenan Allen was on the receiving end of that touchdown. He finished the game with 10 catches for 105 yards.

10) Head Coach Anthony Lynn was the Browns’ running backs coach from 2007-08. General Manager Tom Telesco attended John Carroll University, which is just over 11 miles from FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.

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