The Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) have won four of their past six games, including a 54-point outburst in a win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
They’ll be making only their fifth-ever appearance in a Thanksgiving Day game when they face the Dallas Cowboys Thursday.
Although viewed as an offensive-centric team by most because of quarterback Philip Rivers, the Chargers have been very good on defense this season. The Chargers rank third in the NFL in sacks with 30. They had five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns in the 54-24 win over the Bills.
Here’s five things to know about the Chargers:
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Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn has plenty of familiarity with the Cowboys and the Metroplex. He was a standout player at Celina High School and played at Texas Tech. He served as the Cowboys’ running backs coach in 2005-06, and has ascended into the head role. Lynn got off to a slow start with the Chargers, losing his first four games, but the team rebounded to win four of the past six games.
The Philadelphia Eagles ran for 215 yards against the Cowboys Sunday night. The Chargers have just as potent of a rushing attack led by Melvin Gordon. Gordon had a forgettable rookie season, but is on pace to this season to surpass the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. Gordon has five rushing touchdowns, tied for fifth-most in the league.
Rivers has put up borderline Hall of Fame numbers in his career, and is still getting it done at age 35. Rivers is in the top-10 in passing yards with 2,514, and has thrown 17 touchdowns to seven interceptions. Rivers has faced the Cowboys twice in his career, and has won each game.
The Cowboys gave strong draft consideration to defensive end Joey Bosa coming out of the 2016 draft, but the Chargers took him with the third overall pick. The Cowboys ended up going with Bosa’s college teammate, running back Ezekiel Elliott. Neither have disappointed early on in their careers. Bosa posted 10.5 sacks as a rookie, and has already matched that total with 10.5 this season. Bosa is on a sack streak, too, with eight in the past six games.
The Chargers had five interceptions in their rout of the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. That’s how many interceptions (five) the Cowboys have on the season. Cornerback Casey Hayward had two. The Chargers are surely looking to keep that trend going against the Cowboys, particularly with Dak Prescott coming off a game in which he was intercepted three times.
The Chargers’ 48-year gap between Thanksgiving Day appearances is the longest in NFL history.
Years Between Thanksgiving Games
San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers
New York Giants
San Francisco 49ers
Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders