Chargers vs. Redskins: How San Diego Will Take Down Washington on the Road

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2013

Oct 14, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) calls plays at the line during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins meet at FedEx Field on Sunday as the former looks to extend a winning streak to three games, while the latter simply looks to get back in the win column. 

San Diego has quietly been one of the best teams in the NFL over the past few weeks thanks to great quarterback play from Philip Rivers and a quality defensive effort after a shaky start to the year.

Meanwhile, Washington has won just two games this year and comes off an embarrassing loss to Denver, in which, yet again, a horrific defense was taken advantage of in a blowout.

Interestingly enough, both teams still have playoff hopes alive with Washington residing in the horrible NFC East and San Diego still able to obtain a Wild Card despite the presence of Denver and Kansas City in the division.

Unfortunately, only one team can win, and it'll be San Diego on the road. Here's how.

 

Force Washington Into a One-Dimensional Attack

Oct 27, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) leaves the field after an interception thrown to Denver Broncos free safety Rahim Moore (26) (not pictured )in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to running back Alfred Morris and a bit from quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Redskins rank in the top 10 with 137.3 rushing yards per game.

The problem is, San Diego has been playing great defense and ranks in the top half of the NFL with just 105.4 rushing yards allowed per game.

San Diego is still susceptible to allowing the big play through the air, but the unit's ability to shut down the run will at least make things predictable and easy to digest. RGIII has been mediocre at best through the air this year with a completion percentage under 60 percent and nine touchdowns to eight interceptions.

With RGIII forced to take to the air, it makes the job for the road team easier.

 

Exploit Horrible Washington Defense

Oct 14, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) scrambles away from pressure during the second half against the Indianapolis Colts at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Rivers is in the middle of one of his best career performances with a 73.9 completion percentage and 15 touchdowns to five interceptions.

Now Rivers has a chance to feast on one of the league's worst secondaries, as the Redskins are a bottom five team against the pass with more than 273 yards allowed per game.

The Redskins are even worse against the run at No. 30 in the league, averaging 123.4 yards allowed. That's bad news—Chargers back Ryan Mathews is coming off consecutive 100-yard games.

Not only does San Diego have a clear path to points, the Chargers can control the pace of the game and keep the erratic RGIII off the field.

 

Continue Great Defensive Play

Oct 20, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers inside linebacker Manti Te'o (50) warms up before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Surprise! San Diego is on fire from a defensive standpoint after a laughably bad showing in the early stages of the season.

San Diego gave up an average of 470.7 yards per game through its first three contests. In the team's last four, that number has been drastically reduced to 309.5 yards, as the team has won three of four.

The Chargers are not just limiting the opposition's yardage—they're also keeping teams out of the end zone and haven't allowed a touchdown in 11 consecutive quarters.

Washington has been erratic offensively all season, while the Chargers defense appears to have finally found their footing.

Simply put, the Chargers are firing on all cylinders and will keep things rolling with a rout over the Redskins in front of their fans.

Prediction: Chargers 35, Redskins 21