The Los Angeles Chargers move into a new home with a new quarterback this season, but they start the year on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. It is expected to be a competitive game, with the Chargers as slight road favorites.
With added talent on both teams, either team could win and it wouldn't be terribly shocking. However, that doesn't mean the game will be short of surprises. With that in mind, here are three bold predictions for the Chargers against the Bengals.
3. The Chargers Will Sack Joe Burrow Five Times
The Bengals offensive line is not very good, having allowed 3.0 sacks per game last season (ninth most in the NFL). They did not do enough to improve it, and they face the terrifying pass rush of Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa this week. A motivated Ingram, after the contract "hold-in" is a dangerous thing, and it will only make everyone else on this defensive front better.
2. Keenan Allen Will Have 150 Receiving Yards
The Chargers may head into Week 1 without Mike Williams (shoulder), so it could be Keenan Allen doing a lot of the work against this Cincinnati defense. They gave up a league-worst 7.8 yards per pass attempt last season, so Tyrod Taylor should be able to find plenty of success. We have also seen Allen start seasons strong, posting back-to-back Week 1 games of 100-plus yards. With the added volume coming from a banged up Williams, Allen should be very busy.
1. Austin Ekeler Will Total Over 150 Yards From Scrimmage
Austin Ekeler is another player that should be busy and could go over 150 total yards from scrimmage. While he is not the lone running back like he essentially was at the start of last season, he should be the clear featured back. Ekeler totaled over 120 yards in three of his first four games last season, and he has the potential for a monster day against this terrible Bengals defense.
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