Chargers vs Seahawks game preview: 3 things to watch

The Chargers have one more test before a well-deserved week off. The 3-3 Seahawks arrive in SoFi this Sunday and they’re playing inspired football behind Geno Smith who’s still looked so good in his 2022 career. Add the likes of DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett and you’ve got yourself a duo that can make any quarterback look good.

JC Jackson will be back in the starting lineup to take on these dynamic pass catchers and it’s hard not to already think about what would happen if he stumbles again allowing huge momentum-changing plays.

Luckily, things could be in the Chargers favor even if they get into a track encounter. Seattle isn’t looking too hot on defense and that could bode well for a Bolts offense that could be without Joshua Palmer and Donald Parham on Sunday (concussions).

Below are the three things I’ll be watching the most when this game debuts this weekend.

1.) How will JC Jackson react to his bench on Monday night?

Two days after Jackson was benched against the Broncos, Brandon Staley boosted his confidence by announcing he would start this week against the Seahawks. Now, that’s not terribly surprising due to his high price tag, but despite the abysmal start, he’s still the guy who leads the NFL in steals (25) since entering the league in 2018.

For most of the game against Seattle, Jackson will draw Tyler Lockett or DK Metcalf. Both players can get the better of a defense and although one is obviously much more physically imposing than the other, they are both dangerous nonetheless.

Jackson told the media earlier this week that she plans to do a little more studying, in addition to being the first guy in the building and the last to leave in the future. I love the acknowledgment of his struggles, but only time will tell if it will pay off soon enough.

2.) Justin Herbert should rebound against the 30th-ranked defense

For the first time in over 30 games, Herbert failed to throw a touchdown. The Broncos’ defense was one of the top three passing defenses going into Monday Night Football and they definitely showed up in prime time.

But now, with this game out, Herbert and the Chargers offense are getting ranked defense on the other side of the spectrum. Heading into Week 7, the Seahawks are 30th in total defense (410.8), 21st in pass defense and 31st in run defense.

It’s a great opportunity for Herbert and Co. to get back on track, as long as Joe Lombardi doesn’t mash the “X” button to call “Stick” on repeat and Keenan Allen finally returns to the field for the first times since first week release.

3.) Could Michael Bandy be in line for a heavy workload due to mounting injuries?

Nothing is certain as I write this, but the Chargers could very well be without Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer and Donald Parham this Sunday. The former is still recovering from his hamstring injury while the latter two were on the injury report with concussions to start the week. If the three don’t face off against the Seahawks, the best remaining wide receivers on the list would include Mike Williams, DeAndre Carter, Michael Bandy and Jason Moore. If I had to put my money on the backup receiver that would see the biggest boost in looks, I’d put it on Bandy who has already proven he can turn up in spot duty.

Against the Texans, when the team needed to go down and score, Bandy caught both of his targets for 49 yards. Those remained his only two takes, but if the worst were to get any worse, he should be in line for a decent target share this week.

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