Chargers CB Casey Hayward vs Panthers WR Robby Anderson is a key matchup on Sunday
It is game day for the third Sunday this season. The Chargers (1-1) are set to face the Carolina Panthers (0-2) at SoFi Stadium.
The Chargers head into the game after a solid performance against the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. In the end, they couldn’t get the job done, but it is a new week, and they look to have their first winning record after the first three games of a season under Anthony Lynn.
The Panthers are a couple of plays away from being 2-0. They are a dangerous team that will make a team pay even without all-pro running back Christian McCaffrey.
The Chargers have their work cut out for them on Sunday afternoon, and here are some matchups to watch for:
Casey Hayward vs. Robby Anderson
One of the Carolina Panthers big free agent signings, besides quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, was former NY Jets receiver, Robby Anderson. He has emerged as Bridgewater’s number one receiver so far this season. He has caught 15 passes for 223 yards and added a 75-yard touchdown. Anderson has big-play ability, so that means Bolts pro bowl cornerback Casey Hayward will need to be on his A-game to slow down Anderson. The receiver since New York has shown big-play ability, so Hayward will need to make sure to wrap up Anderson even if he makes a catch. He can’t allow Anderson to get any YAC (yards after catch). Hayward has been very good to begin the season and hasn’t allowed any big plays happen on his side.
Uchenna Nwosu vs. Russell Okung/Greg Little/Trent Scott
On Friday afternoon, Lynn announced that Melvin Ingram would not play on Sunday. On Saturday afternoon, it was announced that Ingram would be placed on IR (he will be able to return after three weeks). That means that the team will be looking for Uchenna Nwosu to step up. That being said, the Panthers have some injuries on the offensive line, so they don’t know yet if left tackle and former Charger Russell Okung will start. Regardless of who starts the left tackle, Gus Bradley depends a lot on his LEO position, and that will be Nwosu for the next three games. Nwosu will have to bring the pressure on passing plays and also wreak havoc against the run. Nwosu has stepped up before, and his team will need him yet again.
Justin Herbert vs. Panthers defense
This is going to be a fun matchup to watch. Sunday will be the second career game of rookie quarterback Justin Herbert. Last Sunday, he didn’t know he was going to start, and this week he did. He had the full week to prepare, and he said on Friday that he feels like the relationships between him and the other offensive players has grown throughout the week. Now there is tape on the rookie quarterback, so it will be interesting to see how the Panthers will attack him. The Chargers offense will do what they have done so far this season, running the ball about 57 percent of the time to open up the passing game except the rookie to spread the ball around the way he did last week and find his new favorite weapon, tight end Hunter Henry.