Keys to a Chargers’ victory over Vikings in Week 10

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On Sunday afternoon, the Chargers are set to face off against the Vikings, looking to stay in the win column after their bounce-back game against the Eagles in Week 9.

There are a few key things that Los Angeles will need to do to secure a victory against Minnesota this week.

First and foremost, the Bolts need to stop the run. Teams like the Patriots and the Ravens figured out that one way to be successful was to run the ball early and often. So Los Angeles has to be stout at the point of attack up front and disciplined tacklers to limit Dalvin Cook from running wild.

The duo of Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson is how Minnesota has earned most of its points this season. But, with Ryan Smith out for the season and rookie Asante Samuel Jr. and Michael Davis’ statuses still up in the air, Tevaughn Campbell and Kemon Hall must step up.

In addition, it’s crucial that when Cousins is throwing the ball, the front must get pressure to mitigate the lack of depth in the cornerback room.

Offensively, the Chargers need to continue to let quarterback Justin Herbert cook. This means Joe Lombardi must draw up a good game plan, like he did last Sunday against Philadelphia, to put him in manageable situations early and often and control the time of possession.

That includes the protection plan, which proved to be formidable, allowing more time for Herbert to throw. Further, getting Herbert on the move more often is essential.

It isn’t a question of whether Herbert and his offensive weapons are talented, but it’s about execution. Every piece of the puzzle needs to be firing on all cylinders. If they can replicate that performance, Los Angeles ‘ offense should dominate and force the Vikings’ defense to defend more plays.

“In terms of where we’re at halfway, we still have a lot of room to improve as a team, in all three phases,” Brandon Staley said. “We’ve seen some good improvement in all three phases; but we need to keep that coming to life by being intentional on first and second down run defense, getting negative plays.”