Thanks to the sudden resurgence of Philip Rivers, the San Diego Chargers, winners of two straight, are off to a 4-3 start and looking like wild card contenders out of the AFC West. Quarterback play in the nation's capital is trending in the opposite direction, as Robert Griffin III suffers through a sophomore slump that has played a major role in the Washington Redskins' disappointing 2-5 record.
Rivers leads the Chargers to the East Coast this Sunday to face the struggling Skins in a game in which their favored by 1½ points.
The numbers suggest that Chargers are a smart bet to cover. They've rewarded bettors this season, going 5-1-1 ATS in 2013, while the Redskins have been just as bad ATS as they've been straight up, going 2-5.
If you're worried about the Chargers' cross-country trek to play on the road, consider this: the Chargers are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven road games and have come away victorious in both of their East Coast trips this season (at Philadelphia and Jacksonville). The Redskins have gone 1-2 straight up in the friendly confines of FedEx Field this year and are 2-9 at home during the month of November dating back to 2006.
The over/under for this game has been set at 51, just above the 48.7 the two teams combine to average on the season. The Chargers have put up yardage in bunches, ranking fourth with 402.9 yards per game, but do not have the points per game numbers to match, ranking 13th with a 24 point average. They'll go up against a Redskins defense that's allowing 32.7 points per contest, ranking them second to last in the NFL.
After one of his worst seasons as a pro in 2012, Rivers has surged back into the league's elite quarterback club in 2013, leading the NFL with a 73.9 completion percentage and ranking second with a 111.1 rating. He's also thrown 15 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions. In the Chargers' last two wins over the Colts and Jaguars, he's gone 44-of-59 for 522 yards and two scores.
Griffin, coming off offseason knee surgery, has struggled to repeat his stellar 2012 Rookie of the Year campaign. He's completed 59 percent of his passes and thrown nine touchdowns to eight interceptions. He looked bad against Denver last week, completing half of his 30 passes for a season-low 132 yards and throwing a pair of interceptions. Washington jumped out to a 21-7 lead in that game, but gave up the final 38 points to lose 45-21.