The San Francisco 49ers (4-4, 2-1 home) tangle with the Los Angeles Chargers (5-3, 3-1 away) in a California state interconference showdown on Sunday Night Football. The Chargers have defeated the 49ers five straight times, two of those contests ending in overtime.
Sunday’s kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. EST inside Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. San Francisco is a seven-point favorite, and the over/under total currently sits at 45.5 points.
What to Know – Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles has won four of its last five and its last three contests on the road. The Chargers sit a game back of the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West division.
Justin Herbert doesn’t have the statline he put together in 2021, but the third-year pro is fifth in the NFL in passing yards with 2,254. The 24-year-old has thrown 13 touchdown passes to five interceptions and is completing 66.4% of his passes.
Leading running back Austin Ekeler can attack opposing defenses with his legs and his hands. Ekeler is one of the top all-purpose backs in the NFL, accounting for 427 rushing and 381 passing yards.
Starting wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen remain sidelined for Sunday’s contest against San Francisco, so Josh Palmer and DeAndre Carter become Hurbert’s top targets. Palmer has caught 34 passes for 346 yards with one touchdown, while Carter has added 24 receptions, 282 yards, and one score.
What to Know – San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers picked up a win over the Los Angeles Rams to close out October before a week off leading into this week’s showdown with the Chargers. San Francisco sits just a game back of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.
Trey Lance is out for the year, but the 49ers have the luxury of a two-time winning Super Bowl champion to take over in Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo has been effective, passing for 1,691 yards with a 66.7% completion rate and tossing 11 touchdown passes to just four interceptions.
San Francisco made a major splash prior to the trade deadline, acquiring All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey from the Carolina Panthers. McCaffrey has made a mark on the offense, coming off a game where he threw, ran, and caught a touchdown pass in the victory over the Rams.
With McCaffrey in the backfield, the passing game will open up for wide outs Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel. Aiyuk leads the 49ers with 38 receptions, 483 yards, and four touchdowns. Samuel can catch and run the ball, tallying 525 total yards and three scores.
The Pick is In
Los Angeles is on the road for the second week in a row, while the 49ers are coming in rested after an off-week. The spread has jumped sharply since it opened, and while the Chargers are missing some key players offensively, this number is a bit too high.
Herbert and Ekeler shine, and Los Angeles keeps this one within a touchdown.
The Pick: Los Angeles Chargers +7.5