Tampa is trending upwards and this week should be a great contest. They host the Chargers, who hold an identical record as the Bucs at 4-4, but they way they went about it is a bit differently. They started off strong, winning 3 of 4. They followed that with a 3 game losing streak until beating the Chiefs last week. The wins by the Chargers have hardly been impressive. They beat up on the lowly Chiefs twice, beat a nearly as bad Titans team, and barely beat a Oakland team that Tampa also beat last week. So what does that all mean?
San Diego is a beatable team. Just as previous years, they have a lot of talent, but never seem to put it all together. Both teams are probably looking at their opponents thinking this is a game they should win. I like the game for Tampa for a few reasons. First, the Chargers are coming across the country for a 1 PM game. That is never easy for a west coast team. Philip Rivers has been a shell of himself for nearly a year and a half now. His awkward throwing motion just isn’t clicking the same way it used to. Don’t get me wrong, they are still capable of putting up big points, but not at the same pace they are used to. Tampa’s secondary has been abysmal though, so this could be a game that he gets back on track. It is also a great game to test the Tampa pass defense, and see if they can stop a struggling QB.
The Chargers rushing offense hasn’t gotten off this year. Ryan Mathews has been in and out with injuries, but should be fully healthy now. He could be a bigger part in this game, but Tampa’s strength is the rush defense. This is a great game, because one of these teams are going to be .500 at the end of it and have a ton of momentum going forward. The other will fall to 4-5 and have a real up field battle the rest of the year. Look for a hard fought game from both teams in this crucial mathup.