NFL Matinee Week 3 Picks: Carolina Panthers at L.A. Chargers

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Carolina Panthers at LA Chargers

Time: 3 PM EST

Spread: LAC -7

Total: 44

Odds c.o 5dimes

The Carolina Panthers are 0-2 after falling 17-31 to Tampa Bay in Week 2. Week 3 sees the Panthers as underdogs traveling to face the LA Chargers as 7-point dogs. The betting total is set at 44 points, and the game will air at 3 PM (EST) on CBS.


Carolina was dominated in Week 2 by Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady himself was not dominant with an interception to his credit and just 217 passing yards, but Leonard Fournette made up for it with a dominant rushing effort, going 12 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns. Ronald Jones II rushed seven times for 23 yards and another TD, as Tampa picked up 122 rushing yards overall on just 22 attempts. Fournette’s 46-yard attempt had plenty to do with it.

Mike Evans caught seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, accounting for nearly half of the Tampa receiving yardage. Fournette caught four more for 13 yards, and six Bucs receivers finished with 11-yards or more on the day. Brady also fumbled for a loss, and Tampa Bay suffered two other fumbles but recovered those. Devin White and Antonio Winfield Jr were dominant defensively, with 26 tackles been them. Winfield Jr had a sack and White had one tackle for loss.

N. Su had two sacks and two tackles for loss, and the Buccaneers finished with five total sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in a stunning defensive effort that also forced two interceptions from Teddy Bridgewater while also holding him without a TD pass despite 367 yards from the Carolina quarterback. The five sacks Bridgwater suffered also resulted in 27-lost-yards. Bridgewater overall is completing 72.4 percent of his passes but has been sacked six times through two weeks.

Christian McCaffrey has rushed 41 of the team’s 54 attempts for 156 yards and four touchdowns. He has nine of the 13 first downs rushing, with no other option amounting for more than five carries on the season thus far. Robby Anderson has caught a team-best 15 passes for a team-high 223 yards and a touchdown. DJ Moore leads in first-down catches with 10 and is No. 2 in receiving yardage with 174 on the year. Anderson has 96 yards after the catch on his 15 receptions and is doing an outstanding job of working the extra yardage. McCaffrey is, too, with 64 yards after the catch on his seven catches.

Pharaoh Cooper has returned four kickoffs for an average of 27.3 yards with a long-return of 38 yards and he is averaging 7.0 yards on punt returns. Joey Slye is 4 of 4 on field-goal attempts with two coming from beyond 40-yards, but he has missed one of his four PATs. Punter Joseph Charlton has been good with a 55.3-yard punt average and a long of 60.


The Chargers are 1-1 after Week 1 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and a loss last week to the KC Chiefs. A 58-yard field goal ended the Chargers’ Week 2 hopes as it fell with 1:55 remaining in overtime. James Herbert threw 22 of 33 for 311 yards and a TD but he launched one pick and was sacked twice. Austin Ekeler and James Kelley combined to rush 39 times between them, for 93 and 64 yards, respectively, but Herbert picked up the only rushing touchdown on his four attempts for 18 yards.

Keenan Allen and Hunter Henry caught 13 combined passes for 179 yards, but Jalen Guyton caught the only receiving touchdown, a 14-yard look from Herbert. Kenneth Murray had a double-digit tackle defensive effort with 10 tackles, six solos. The Chargers picked up just one sack and only two tackles for loss.

So far, Herbert and Tyrod Taylor both have had their issues. Herbert is averaging 66.7 percent completion and 9.4 yards-per-attempt but has matched TDs with picks (1 apiece). Taylor has thrown just 53.3 percent for completion and just 6.9 yards-per-attempt, with no touchdowns nor picks. He has been sacked twice, as well. Ekeler has been the team’s best weapon out of the backfield, accounting for 5.1 yards-per-attempt on his team-tying-high 35 attempts and nine first downs.

Kelley has 124 yards but has picked up one touchdown while Ekeler has none. The Chargers are averaging 4.1 yards-per-attempt as a team with 20 rushing first downs (while having 24 via the pass). Hunter Henry and Allen have 156 and 133 receiving yards, respectively, while only Guyton has scored a TD pass so far this season, on his two catches for 30 yards.

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