The Rams and Chargers will continue their fight for L.A. this weekend when they square off in Week 17, but this matchup is missing some of the excitement and anticipation we expected it to have when the schedule was released. The Chargers have already clinched a playoff berth and the Rams have been eliminated from contention, so there’s far less intrigue coming into this game.
Here’s a preview of Sunday’s battle at SoFi Stadium, which is a road game for the Rams.
Rams are 7-5 all-time against the Chargers
The Rams and Chargers have only met 12 times in history, and it’s the Rams who have the slight edge. They’re 7-5 all-time against the Chargers, outscoring them 325-313 in those 12 games. The last time they squared off was in 2018, a game the Rams won pretty comfortably, 35-23.
This will be the fourth time in the last five meetings that the Chargers are favored over the Rams, though the Rams have covered the spread in three of their last four against the Chargers.
Chargers have 2nd-most pass attempts, 5th-fewest runs
To say the Chargers offense is pass-heavy would be an understatement. They’ve thrown 636 passes and attempted just 351 runs, skewing toward the passing game in a big way. They rank second in the NFL in pass attempts and 28th in rush attempts, which is partly because of the lack of success the Chargers have had on the ground.
Surprisingly, they’re worse than the Rams when it comes to running the ball, and they have Austin Ekeler in the backfield. The Chargers have the second-fewest rushing yards (1,273) and average the second-fewest yards per carry (3.6) in the NFL this year. The Rams are 29th in each category.
Chargers allow 2nd-most yards per carry
Not only are the Chargers bad at running the ball, but they’re also terrible at stopping it. They allow 5.3 yards per carry, which is the second-worst average in the NFL. According to Pro Football Focus, the Chargers’ run defense grade of 35.8 is the fourth-worst in football, significantly worse than the Rams’ league-leading 90.0 grade.
The Rams have struggled on the ground all year but Cam Akers has come alive in recent weeks and now gets to face a terrible run defense in Los Angeles. Expect to see him used heavily on Sunday afternoon.
6 former Rams are currently with the Chargers
When the Rams look across the field to the Chargers’ sideline, they’ll see a bunch of familiar faces. There are five former Rams players and one former coach on the Chargers now: Gerald Everett, Sony Michel, Troy Reeder, Morgan Fox, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Brandon Staley.
Staley became the Chargers’ head coach in 2020 and in the last two years, he’s accumulated players who he was with as the Rams’ defensive coordinator. Everett, Fox and Joseph-Day should all play significant roles for the Chargers against their former team on Sunday.
Rams have only scored 9 fewer points than Chargers in last 10 games
It’s been a real struggle on offense for the Rams this year, ranking 26th in points scored – and that’s after putting up 51 against the Broncos. That game certainly helped the Rams’ season average, and now when you look at their last 10 games, they’re actually not far behind the Chargers in total points scored.
Since Week 6, which is a span of 10 games, the Rams have scored 201 points compared to 210 by the Chargers. They’ve also allowed just 11 more points on defense than the Chargers have in that same span. Obviously, scoring 51 points in one game helps, but it’s not as if the Chargers have lit it up lately. They’ve only scored more than 23 points twice since Week 6, which is the same number of times as the Rams have.