Chargers vs. Seahawks: Matchups, how to watch and score prediction

Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert warms up before a win over the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert warms up before a win over the Denver Broncos on Monday night. Herbert and the Chargers look to extend their winning streak to four games Sunday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Breaking down how the Chargers (4-2) and the Seattle Seahawks (3-3) match up heading into their game at 1:25 p.m. PDT game on Sunday at SoFi Stadium. The game will be shown on Fox and streamed on NFL+.


When the Chargers have the ball

Chargers running back Austin Ekeler carries the ball during a win over the Denver Broncos on Monday.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The running game continues to be an issue for the Chargers, who have failed to top 81 yards in five of their six games. Against Cleveland, they broke out for 238 yards rushing but have been the NFL’s worst running team otherwise. Now Joshua Kelley, who had emerged as the primary backup to Austin Ekeler, is on injured reserve because of a knee ligament sprain. As for finding encouragement, Seattle’s rush defense has not been good, ranking 31st in the NFL, ahead of only one-win Detroit. Improvement on the ground would figure to help quarterback Justin Herbert’s play-action potential and also boost the offense in the red zone, where the Chargers are scoring touchdowns on only 48% of their trips. Seattle is No. 15 in red-zone defense, so no glaring advantage there one way or the other. Herbert is coming off his least-productive game of the season. He passed for 238 yards and no touchdowns against Denver in a 19-16 overtime win Monday. Herbert finished with a 66.3 quarterback rating, the second-lowest of his 38 starts. A familiar face to watch: Seattle’s edge rusher Uchenna Nwosu, who spent four seasons with the Chargers before joining the Seahawks in March as a free agent. “Uchenna is having an outstanding season, playing exactly the way that you guys have seen him play…” Chargers coach Brandon Staley said. “He’s just a complete player. He’s a playmaker.”


Chargers receiver Joshua Palmer was cleared during the Monday game against Denver despite a suspected concussion, but two days later symptoms appeared and he won’t play Sunday.

Oct. 21, 2022


When the Seahawks have the ball

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith throws against the Detroit Lions on Oct. 3.
(Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

Before holding the offensively challenged Broncos to 16, the Chargers were the third-worst team in points allowed. Since Week 3, Seattle leads the league at 30.5 points per game. The Seahawks are quarterbacked by Geno Smith, who served as Philip Rivers’ backup in 2018. Smith has completed 73.4% of his attempts, tops in the NFL, with just two interceptions. That’s a little discouraging to a Chargers’ defense trying to emphasize taking away the ball. One key to watch is the play of J.C. Jackson, the Chargers’ big-ticket cornerback who was benched at halftime in Week 6. Jackson will remain in the starting lineup, Staley said, but Jackson has admitted his confidence is shaken. His success in New England came playing man-to-man. He has struggled mightily when the Chargers have asked him to play zone. “We’re going to try to do as much as we can to simplify and do the things that made him successful over there,” defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill said. “I think that the meeting time that he’s getting with [secondary] coach [Derrick] Ansley in the morning, staying later, we’re hoping that we see those things translate on to the football field. It doesn’t happen as soon as a guy comes into the building all of the time.”


When Chargers and Seahawks kick

Taylor Bertolet replaces Dustin Hopkins for the Chargers after Hopkins suffered a hamstring strain Monday. He’s expected to miss two to four weeks. Bertolet made three field goals — 25, 27 and 28 yards — and three extra points in his NFL debut for the Chargers in Week 5, when Hopkins was out because of a quadriceps injury. Seattle’s Jason Myers is 12 of 13 on field goals and 14 of 15 on extra points.


Jeff Miller’s prediction: The importance of the Chargers getting back center Corey Linsley can’t be overstated.