The 2010 NFL Thursday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers (host) is scheduled for Thursday December 16 at 8:20 PM EST. The NFL Network will broadcast this critical late-season contest. San Francisco is third in the NFC West with a 5-8 record; San Diego is second in the AFC West with a mediocre record of 7-6. This article offers TV time and predictions for the 2010 49ers-Chargers game.
1) 49ers-Chargers Matchup
Thursday’s primetime game features two familiar west coast foes in the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Chargers. This is a pivotal game for both teams, as each will need to win all its remaining games for a shot at making the playoffs. San Francisco and SD have met 8 times, with the 49ers leading the all-time series 6-2. Although SF has dominated the rivalry, the last two meetings have been won by the Chargers. The two teams last played in 2006, with San Diego winning 48-19.
2) Alex Smith vs. Philip Rivers
The first NFL game of Week 15 pits Alex Smith against one of this season’s MVP candidates in San Diego’s Philip Rivers. Smith was San Francisco’s starting quarterback at the beginning of the year. He was relegated to a backup role midway through the season, only to become the starter again recently. For the season, Smith has (through 8 starts) accumulated 1809 passing yards, 12 TDs, and a QB rating of 81. Philip Rivers, on the other hand, is enjoying a MVP-type season. Rivers has amassed to date 3868 passing yards, 26 TDs, and a massive QB rating of 103. Statistically speaking, Philip Rivers is obviously the superior quarterback.
3) Mike Singletary vs. Norv Turner
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Both the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Chargers come into this game, knowing a loss would jeopardize their chances of earning a spot in the playoff. Based on form alone, the Chargers is the overwhelming favorite to win this game. Norv Turner’s team is third in the NFL in scoring and 11th in defense. SD’s offense, anchored by Philip Rivers, has been very impressive this season ranking 2nd in passing and 13th in rushing. On the defensive front, Turner’s crew is equally as impressive. The Chargers rank first in passing defense and 4th in opponent rushing yards. Unfortunately, these great stats have not translated to more victories. San Diego seemed invincible in some games, while appeared merely average in others.
After an extremely poor start to the season, San Francisco has been playing very well of late winning 4 of the last 6 games. The team is in the middle of the pack statistically. On the offensive front, the team is slightly below average placing 19th in passing and 18th in rushing. This can be attributed to several big QB shakeups this year. After Alex Smith’s fine performance in last week’s win over Seattle, Mike Singletary appears to have settled on Smith as the starter. On the defensive front, the 49ers rank 20th in opponent passing yards and 9th in rushing defense.
Who will win this game? This contest is very much San Diego to lose. If the Chargers are on their game, there is very little the 49ers could do about it. If SD has one of its off days, San Francisco has a decent shot at winning this contest.
My prediction for the 2010 NFL Thursday Night Football game between the San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers: the Chargers win at home 35-14. Kickoff time for the game is 8:20 PM EST. The game is played at Qualcomm Stadium, and will be broadcast by the NFL Network.