Sunday Night Football, Sunday Night Lights, Prime Time, there is nothing like it!!
Memories from Friday Night Lights, big college games and in the NFL you are front and center, no other games, you are it!
“It’s like a day party versus a night party….no comparison “ – Damion Square
A little haze, a little darker, some nostalgia, but Chargers players are focused on the task at hand, beating the Steelers. Even though Isaac Rochelle and Uchenna Nwosu didn’t agree with the outcome of their alma maters match up on Saturday, USC vs Notre Dame, they were definitely on the same page for Sunday’s match hosting the 1-4 Steelers at Dignity Health Sports Park.
With many teams fans rolling into Southern Cal to enjoy games, the Chargers players are accustomed to it having many visitor teams fans in attendance, it just doesn’t matter regardless of how many Charger fans showed up as long as it was packed with fans. Something that I think aided in their success last year no home field advantage, fan wise, but a home game is a home game, you go home after the game, not board a flight, you sleep in your own bed.
This is again a dangerous 1-4 team, their losses come from to 2 undefeated teams, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots, and one with one loss the Seattle Seahawks. Chargers have won two of the last three meetings.
“It’s just a matter of time before that group gets it together,” Coach Lynn said. “This is a dangerous football team.”
Friday in the locker room it broke that Mason Rudolph was ruled “out” for Sunday, although on LP throughout the week, not a big surprise it was hard to fathom that he would be cleared of concussion protocols after the hit he sustained from Earl Thomas.
Regardless which quarterback was at the helm, the Bolts had prepared for both Mason Rudolph and Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges whomever was a the helm for the Steelers, “It doesn’t matter who’s playing QB” Square stated on Friday.
On preparing for a third string quarterback making his NFL debut on Sunday Night with little film,
“There’s a little bit of an unknown with his skill set,” Bradley said. “What are they going to do with him? Do they trust him to be a read-option guy? … We really just have to play some of that stuff ‘rules ball’ and just go for it and probably make adjustments during the game as we see the personality that they take on.”
On Juju Smith-Schuster, I asked former Trojan teammate and friend Uchenna if any smack talk had partaken, he said no we are professional. When asked if he’s given some extra advice on Smith-Schuster, he said “definitely” has given his teammates the heads up. DC Gus Bradley also very aware of Juju and the entire Defense.
Gus words on Thursday “He has really good strength at the point of attack,” Bradley said. “(He) played really well in those positions as far as setting the edge and stuff. That was impressive. He has always had the ability to find a way to affect the quarterback.”
Casey will be covering Juju per Coach Bradley from Thursday podium, much praise on Casey Hayward.
“He’s been very important, because you can count on him,” Bradley said. “You know what you’re going to get from him every game. He’s a pro. I know that he missed a practice last week, but he’s a guy that really studies and he’s in-tune to it even if he misses a practice here or there.”
Hayward acknowledging Juju, “He plays hard, it’s hard to tackle him, he’s a good route runner, and he has strong hands. He does a really good job of breaking tackles and getting open.”
Nwosu will start for Melvin Ingram. When I spoke to him on praises from Coach Bradley he gave credit to his DL Coach Giff Smith.
New Chargers C/G Ryan Groy, I spoke with GM Tom Tellesco on the connections, primary was similar offense with Tyrod in Buffalo and his versatility. Will he play is unknown and Ryan was unclear if he will play when I spoke to him on Friday, but with the need for 8, makes it a likelyhood possibility. One more brother connections Derek Watt will see his other brother T.J. Watt. On a side note Joey Bosa’s brother Nick is up the road at the Coliseum playing the LA Rams this afternoon.
Game predictions IMO
Chargers will find a way to run the ball, in possible some creative ways with new lineman. Aliviating pressure for Phillip Rivers, expect Keenan Allen to have a big night and Chargers defense to really have pressure on Hodges, and contain the run, or more so contain big explosive plays.
The will respond not just because its a Prime Time game, but because they are prepared and IMO using fuel from last weeks loss to division foe Broncos, on the Desiree show on Wednesday my game prediction was at first a win by 7, I shifted to a final 30-10 LAC.
Although Chargers have been decimated with injuries this season perhaps worse than the last few years they overcome unite and fight to get this win.
*Dan Freeney in of Mike Pouncy and below the flip card.
Game Day Flips
FLIP CARD CHANGES FOR THE CHARGERS:
3 Chase McLaughlin will handle the kicking duties for #4 Michael Badgley
42 Uchenna Nwosu will start at DE for #54 Melvin Ingram
44 Kyzir White will start at LB for #42 Uchenna Nwosu
Add #89 WR Jason Moore
Remove #82 TE Stephen Anderson
FLIP CARD CHANGES FOR THE STEELERS:
6 Devlin Hodges will start at QB for #2 Mason Rudolph
18 Diontae Johnson will start at WR for #13 James Washington
25 Artie Burns will start at CB for #22 Steven Nelson
55 Devin Bush will start at LB for #26 Mark Barron
Add #5 QB Paxton Lynch
Add #33 RB Trey Edmunds
Remove #74 G Fred Johnson
Remove #51 LB Jayrone Elliott