49ers vs Chargers Preview & Free Pick [August 22nd 2021]

San Francisco (0-1) at LA Chargers (1-0)
When: Sunday, August 22nd, 2021
Where: SoFi Stadium,
Inglewood, CA
Time: 7:30 ET | TV: NFL Network
Opening Odds: San Francisco -2.5/34.5

The Los Angeles Chargers will play their second game this preseason at SoFi Stadium, but their first as the home team with fans in attendance. L.A. will host the San Francisco 49ers in a Week 2 preseason clash on Sunday night, one week after beating the Los Angeles Rams in this venue as the road team. The Chargers will continue to rest their star players in preparation for the regular season opener at Washington on September 12. Los Angeles used a strong defensive effort last week in the 13-6 win over the Rams, holding them to under 200 yards of total offense. The 49ers lost at home last week 19-16 to the Kansas City Chiefs and will showcase third-overall pick Trey Lance under center. The Chargers have enjoyed some recent success over the 49ers, winning and covering in five of their last seven meetings. Oddsmakers have the 49ers as 5.5-point favorites as of Saturday morning with a total of 34.

San Francisco might have lost the game to Kansas City last week but the highlight of the night was Lance’s 80-yard touchdown pass on his first NFL completion. Lance hit Trent Sherfield for the score and finished 5-of-14 for 128 yards, while getting sacked four times. Jamycal Hasty led the rushing attack with 10 carries for 63 yards, while now-released quarterback Josh Rosen threw for 93 yards on 10-of-15 passing attempts. With Rosen out, it’s a battle between Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo for the starting gig. The veteran Garoppolo has the inside track, but the future seems to be with Lance. The Niners rushed for 175 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries against Kansas City. The offensive line did a terrific job of opening up running holes, but will have to improve in pass protection after allowing five sacks last week. The 49ers will host Las Vegas in next week’s preseason finale.

Quarterback Justin Herbert, receiver Keenan Allen, defensive end Joey Bosa, and safety Derwin James are some of the names who didn’t play in last week’s win and won’t again in Week 2. The offense will be led by journeyman Chase Daniel at quarterback. The 34-year-old veteran went 15-of-24 for 104 yards in the Chargers win over the Rams last week, completing six of those passes for 36 yards to 2021 third-round pick Josh Palmer. Rookie Larry Rountree was the Chargers leading rusher with eight carries for 63 yards. The Chargers gave up a passing touchdown, but also had one interception. Nick Niemann, Chris Rumph II, and Emeke Egbule were the stars on defense and will look to contain San Francisco’s solid rush attack this week. The Chargers are 3-1 against the spread in their last four preseason games.

The Niners definitely have the edge in this one with the better QB rotation and more starters playing. The Chargers just want to get to the regular season healthy. I’ll lay the points.

Pick: 49ers -5.5