Following a crucial home game against the Saints, the Falcons have to travel across the country to take on a sneaky talented Los Angeles Chargers team. It’s a prototypical trap game, but hey, at least there won’t be many Chargers fans there.
Chase Irle’s Prediction
The Chargers are such an intriguing team. They have talent at all levels on defense and a ton of weapons on offense. However, they have a significant question at the quarterback position. Tyrod Taylor will lead them to some wins, but he doesn’t exactly strike fear into opposing defenses, and I don’t see Justin Herbert playing in year one unless things turn into a total disaster. There’s also the fact that this team can never seem to stay healthy, and they don’t have a home-field advantage.
Initially, I penciled this game in as a loss because the Charges have talent, and the Falcons will be traveling across the country after a tough home game against the Saints. However, I have Atlanta at 7-5, and after Los Angeles, they have to play the Bucs twice and Chiefs, so they have to be looking at this as a must-win to sneak into the playoffs. I understand Dan Quinn’s struggles against the AFC, but I have them pulling this one out by a field goal.
Falcons 24, Chargers 21
Jake Gordon’s Prediction
The Chargers and the Falcons feel so similar at times. Both crazy frustrating squads with playmakers all over the field that struggle with injuries. It’s yet to be seen what Justin Herbert is, but he has the best supporting cast of any rookie 1st round QB except for maybe Jordan Love. With weapons all over the field on offense, Atlanta will have to account for Hunter Henry at all times, Austin Ekeler is a problem in the pass-game, and Herbert will be looking for these two safety valves often. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams will also give the Falcons secondary fits. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are a fantastic pass rush tandem, and Derwin James might be the best box safety in football. Atlanta drops a heartbreaker in this one, but at least nobody will be at the game to watch.
Chargers 28, Falcons 13