4 key Panthers matchups to watch at the Chargers in Week 3

(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Taylor Moton
(Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Taylor Moton /
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What are some of the key matchups the Carolina Panthers must win to secure victory at the Los Angeles Chargers in a crucial Week 3 contest?

The Carolina Panthers have plenty on their plate when they travel to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3.

Not only do they go into the game on a ten-game losing streak dating back to last season following their defeat at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the Carolina Panthers also need to cope without the services of Christian McCaffrey for the next few weeks. The All-Pro running back is officially on the reserve/injured list with a high ankle sprain and this is another significant hurdle this young roster needs to overcome.

McCaffrey going down is the last thing that head coach Matt Rhule needed. There is already some questioning whether he is the right man for the job after a disappointing start to his NFL coaching career. But it is a little too early to be writing off the former Baylor man.

A severely disrupted preseason, coupled with no warmup games, meant that Rhule was on a hiding to nothing from the outset. One suspected that this new-look roster might need some time to come together and the unforgiving world of competitive action on the field is not the best place to achieve this.

They won’t be getting any favors this Sunday at SoFi Stadium against a Chargers team that just took the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs to overtime. This would have been a huge confidence boost despite the defeat as they look to make a return to the postseason in their first campaign in many years without quarterback Philip Rivers under center.

Let’s take a look at four key matchups that the Panthers need to win if they want to gain an elusive first win of the season.