The Los Angeles Chargers (6-6) look for their fourth consecutive win when they host the Washington Redskins (5-7) at StubHub Center. Kickoff on Sunday is set for 1:05 p.m.
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
Philip Rivers is playing as well as at any point in his Hall of Fame-worthy career. For the season, the quarterback has completed 272 of 431 attempts (63.1 percent) for 3,292 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven picks for a 96.0 passer rating. He’s been on fire of late connecting with Keenan Allen, who may be the top offensive player in the NFL at this moment. KA13 is on pace to set new Chargers records when all is said and done, and currently has 77 catches for 1,032 yards and five touchdowns. Finally, Melvin Gordon anchors the team’s rushing attack with 207 carries for 775 yards (3.7 ypc) and five TDs.
On Offense for the Redskins
Kirk Cousins leads Washington into action in the midst of another stellar season. The quarterback has completed 275 of 413 attempts (66.6 percent) for 3,289 yards, 21 TDs and eight interceptions for a 99.6 passer rating. His primary weapon has been Jamison Crowder, who paces Washington with 51 catches for 628 yards and one TD. Josh Doctson has been the team’s top scoring threat, catching 24 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns while fourth-year wideout Ryan Grant has 36 receptions for 417 yards and four scores. Washington’s running back stable has been hit hard by injuries, leaving Samaje Perine to handle the load. The rookie fourth-round pick has performed admirably, carrying the rock 125 times for 465 yards (3.7 ypc) and one TD. He’s also caught 13 passes for 125 yards and another score.
On Defense for the Chargers
Joey Bosa continues to impact the game in a multitude of ways. Not only does number 99 rank fifth in the NFL in sacks (11.5), but has forced the second-most fumbles in the NFL (four). His 19.5 QB hits are tied for the team lead with Melvin Ingram, who has been every bit as effective rushing the passer. Ingram has 8.5 sacks on the year along with a team-high 17.5 tackles for loss. Meanwhile, Jahleel Addae’s 80 tackles according to coaches’ stats lead the defense, while Tre Boston and Casey Hayward are tied for fourth in the NFL with four interceptions each.
On Defense for the Redskins
Zach Brown is one of the top players you’ve likely never heard of, but better watch out for. After all, the linebacker leads the entire NFL with 117 tackles. Meanwhile, Ryan Kerrigan remains one of the top pass rushers in the NFL as the seven-year veteran already has 9.0 sacks. On the backend, Washington’s secondary features a pair of ballhawks in Kendall Fuller and D.J. Swearinger, who have four and three picks respectively.
The Chargers and Redskins have met 10 times over the years with Washington leading the season series 7-3. The Bolts did win the last time they met in California in a 23-20 decision.
By the Numbers
The Chargers rank ninth in total offense (363.1 yards per game), second in passing (269.8 ypg), 26th in rushing (93.2 ypg) and 17th in points (22.3). The Redskins rank 12th in total offense (349.8 ypg), 12th in passing (249.4 ypg), 23rd in rushing (100.3 ypg) and 15th in points (22.7).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 17th in total defense (335.4 ypg), fifth in passing (205.7 ypg), 31st in rushing (129.8 ypg) and fourth in points allowed (17.7). Washington ranks 19th in total defense (340.1 ypg), 13th in passing (222.4 ypg), 22nd in rushing (117.7 ypg) and 30th in points allowed (26.2).
Milestones on the Horizon
Keenan Allen needs one more reception to reach 78 on the season, which would pass his total in 2014 for the most in a season for his career. He also needs two more receptions to reach 300 for his career, which would make him the 11th player in franchise history to reach 300 catches.
Melvin Gordon needs two more receiving touchdowns to reach six for the season, which would tie Danny Woodhead (2013, ‘15) for the second-most in a single season by a running back in franchise history. Gordon also needs 107 more rushing yards to reach 2,520, which would pass Dickie Post for ninth in team history.
The next touchdown pass between Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates will be the 86th connection for the pair, breaking a tie with Steve Young and Jerry Rice for the second-most in NFL history. Gates also needs five more receptions to reach 921 for his career, which would pass Torry Holt for 20th in NFL history. Meanwhile, he is three receiving yards shy of reaching 11,374 for his career, which would pass Keenan McCardell for 32nd in NFL history.
Tyrell Williams’ next catch will be the 100th of his career.
Noteworthy vs. the Redskins
Keenan Allen put together one of his best efforts during his rookie campaign when he faced the Redskins in 2013, catching eight passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. The 128 yards was a season-best for the third-round pick.
In three career games against the Redskins, Antonio Gates has caught 10 passes for 104 yards and one touchdown. In his last outing against Washington, Gates hauled in six passes for 53 yards. He scored his lone touchdown against the Redskins on his only reception of the game on a 12-yard pass at home on Jan. 3, 2010.
Philip Rivers has faced the Redskins twice in his career and is 1-1. Rivers is 38-of-61 (62.3 pct.) for 440 yards with three touchdowns. He threw for 341 yards with two touchdowns in their most recent meeting in 2013.
Playing for Cleveland during his rookie season, Travis Benjamin hauled in a 69-yard touchdown, which remains the longest reception of his career.
Brandon Mebane has faced Washington five times in his career, including twice in the playoffs. In the 2008 Wild Card game for Seattle, Mebane totaled three tackles in a 35-14 win. He met the Redskins again in the 2013 Wild Card game, this time registering four tackles in the 24-14 win.
Redskins Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky was with the Chargers from 2002-06, and in 2011.
Quarterbacks Coach Kevin O’Connell was with the team in training camp in 2012.
Outside Linebackers Coach Chad Grimm served as Defensive Quality Control Coach from 2013-14.
Chargers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt played for the Redskins from 1989-90.
Chargers QB Kellen Clemens was with Washington in 2011.
CBS – Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline)
KFI-AM 640 – Matt “Money” Smith (play-by-play), Nick Hardwick (analyst) and Shannon Farren (sideline)
Spanish Radio: KFWB – AM 980 – Jorge Villanueva (play-by-play) and Tony Alvarez (analyst)
Chargers radio broadcasts throughout the season will be able to be heard across 11 radio stations from Southern California to Nevada. Fans can listen in English on KGB-FM and KLSD AM (San Diego), KNWZ-AM (Palm Springs), KALZ-AM (Fresno), KBFP-AM (Bakersfield), KNWH-FM (Yucca Valley), KRLV-FM (Las Vegas), KRAK-AM (Victorville/Hesperia), KATY-FM (San Bernardino) and KPLY-AM (Reno). Spanish broadcasts can be heard on XHFG-FM (San Diego).