Quietly Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers are clinging to the AFC’s final playoff spot as the second half of their season begins against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.
Rivers has put together a very solid season thus far with 2,132 yards, 15 touchdowns to five interceptions, and he’s first in the league with a 73.9 percent completion rate. He’s well on pace to notch his first 4,000 yard season in two years, after putting together four straight, and the 4-3 Chargers are behind Denver and Kansas City in the loaded AFC West.
Washington nearly did San Diego a favor last week by outgunning Denver for three quarters before letting up 38 unanswered points in a 45-21 loss. The Redskins committed five turnovers, including two interceptions each from quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.
Griffin left with an injury to his left knee, but was a full participant during practices this week and is listed as probable on the team’s official website. Since returning from a blown out knee, Griffin has struggled in his sophomore season, completing 59 percent of his passes with eight interceptions.
Yet the 2-5 Redskins aren’t out of the playoff hunt, standing a mere two and a half games behind Dallas for the NFC East lead and fielding the league’s sixth best rushing attack. Running back Alfred Morris continued his stellar season with 93 rushing yards against the Broncos, and is sixth in the league with 565 yards. Morris has also put together six runs of 20-plus yards, the second best mark in the NFL.
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Morris could produce even more if the Washington defense didn’t let up 32.7 points a game, the worst in the conference and only ahead of winless Jacksonville. Ranked 28th against the pass, opposing quarterbacks are also recording an average rating of 100.7.
The Chargers have been just as inept against the pass this season, allowing 273.1 passing yards, an average 102.1 passer rating, and have only picked off opposing quarterbacks three times, tied for worst in the league. Despite those troubling numbers San Diego only gives up 20.6 points a game.
In terms of injuries the Redskins are relatively unscathed with only reserve defensive back Jose Gumbs listed as questionable.
San Diego inside linebacker Donald Butler was out of practice all week and is listed as doubtful with a groin injury, while left guard Chad Rinehart was limited with a toe injury and is questionable. Receiver Eddie Royal also has an injured toe and is questionable.
Rinehart’s injury is especially worrisome since the Chargers o-line has only given up 11.0 sacks all season.
Betting Odds: San Diego is favored by 1 point
Over/Under: 51 points
Where To Watch Online: NFL Sunday Ticket
TV Channel: CBS
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern Time
Prediction: San Diego 30, Washington 24