Behind Enemy Lines with Fernando Ramirez of Charger Report

Schuyler Callihan

Each and every single week, we will take a full dive into the Panthers' opponent by getting insight from many talented beat writers and publishers around the Sports Illustrated network. To help us get some strong insight on the Los Angeles Chargers, we bring in Fernando Ramirez of Charger Report.

Thoughts on Justin Herbert starting at quarterback?

Fernando: "The rookie quarterback was thrown in last Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. He had a pretty good debut. Lynn said he can’t wait to see what Herbert can do after having a week of preparation. He has a solid group of weapons around him, so it should make for an interesting matchup."

Strengths/weaknesses of the offense?

Strength: The balance of the offense is the team’s strength. The Chargers offense has ran the ball 57 percent of the time and thrown it 43 percent. That has helped them be able to move the ball up and down the field. Running backs Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley have combined for over 400 yards of total offense in two games. They have become the tandem that Lynn was hoping to get this season."

Weakness: "Scoring touchdowns has been a glaring weakness for the offense. They are top 10 in yards, but bottom of the NFL in scoring. They are only putting up 18 points a game, which is not good. Lynn said he wants to jump start his offense because they have only three touchdowns this season."

Strengths/weaknesses of the defense?

Strengths: "The Chargers’ pass rush is still one of the strengths of the defense. Even though defensive end Joey Bosa has a hurt tricep, he is still disrupting the quarterback. That is how they were able to keep Patrick Mahomes rattled in the first three quarters. The team also has seen the emergence of former 2019 first round pick Jerry Tillery. He has been in the backfield disrupting the quarterback as much as Bosa has this season."

Weakness: "The lack of turnovers has been very concerning to the Chargers. They only have two turnovers and want the defense to create more. Last season, one of the reasons why the team struggled was because they were at the bottom of the NFL in turnovers. That is something defensive coordinator Gus Bradley wanted to change going into this season."

3 players folks don’t know much about, but should.

Fernando: "Well, I mentioned Jerry Tillery. He has been a big part of disrupting the opposing team’s offense the last two games. He was one of the players that players kept on talking about during the training camp. He will look to continue that this weekend. Another defensive player to watch for is safety Nasir Adderley. He, like Tillery, was another player that teammates talked about during training camp. Adderley is a ball hawk safety who has been close to a couple of turnovers so far. He has play making ability that just needs one opportunity. The third player is Joshua Kelley. He has been a very good addition to the Bolts running back group especially with Justin Jackson injured. Kelley has been the big back while Ekeler has been the shifty one. The UCLA product has brought something new to the offense."

Keys for Chargers to win?

· Create turnovers.

· Make sure you put Herbert in a position to succeed.

· Keep the balance in the offense.

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