The matchup opened with the Chargers as 1.5-point favorites per Bet MGM but that has dropped to Chargers -1.
The game also shows the dichotomy of two higher-powered offenses that are different, as the Chargers have not turned it over at all while the Vikings have turned it over seven times.
Going into the game, we have previewed the game from multiple angles, including a preview show with Chargers Wire columnist Alex Katson. In this piece, our staff got together and identified four players to watch on Sunday who could have big games.
Managing Editor Tyler Forness: WR Jordan Addison
The Vikings seem to have struck gold in the early 20’s at wide receiver once again. They did just three years ago with Justin Jefferson and now he has a proper running mate. After being the third wide receiver in both offensive snaps and production, Addison has shown that he is ready to be that guy full time and catching deep touchdowns from 39 and 62 yards out is a sign of just that.
Columnist Judd Zulgad: QB Kirk Cousins
The quarterback is off to a good start, despite the Vikings’ 0-2 record, and this game should present the veteran with an opportunity to put his arm on display. The Chargers are giving up an NFL-worst 438.5 yards per game and their pass defense is surrendering an average of 333 yards, also worst in the league, over the first two games.
This sets up as a potentially huge game for superstar wide receiver Justin Jefferson, but even if the Chargers contain Jefferson, they are likely to see rookie wide receiver Jordan Addison and tight end T.J. Hockenson take advantage of their porous pass defense.
Columnist Kevin Fielder: ILB Ivan Pace Jr.
Ivan Pace Jr. is off to a good start as a rookie, but as his usage continues to improve, so does the focus. Pace presents a unique skill set as a blitzer that works in Brian Flores’ defense, but the production in the run game has been inconsistent. If Pace wants to really capture this room, and the defense, he’ll need to become a better run defender consistently. If he doesn’t, there’s a chance his snaps are limited to moments where he can be most effective. That wouldn’t be a bad thing — in fact, it might be a good thing — but it could open the door for more Brian Asamoah II snaps.
Columnist Saivion Mixson: CB Akayleb Evans
Outside of the miscommunication that led to the 63-yard score for DeVonta Smith, Akayleb Evans has put up some good numbers. If you take away that one coverage bust (which arguably wasn’t his fault), Evans has let up seven receptions on 13 targets for 26 yards. That 53.8% completion percentage would rank fifth in the league in corners targeted 13 or more times this season.
He has stepped up whenever this defense has needed him to, whether that’s in run support or covering a quick screen. Evans and his aggressiveness have epitomized this defense’s philosophy thus far and have taken some of the load off of Byron Murphy. With the tests of Mike Williams and Keenan Allen on Sunday, it’s yet another chance for Evans to prove that he is a solid corner in this league.