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Preview: Chargers at Redskins

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers have to be salivating at the prospect of facing the Washington Redskins' defense this weekend. The Chargers travel across the country looking for their first three-game winning streak since 2011 when the teams match up on Sunday. The Redskins, meanwhile, are allowing 32.7 points per game - second-worst in the NFL - and have yielded 39 points per game over their last three contests.

Prior to its bye week, San Diego gave up a total of 15 points in back-to-back wins over the Colts and Jaguars. Rivers continued his solid play in those contests and currently leads the NFL with a 73.9 completion percentage and ranks second with a 111.1 quarterback rating. "You can see just by watching him," said Washington coach Mike Shanahan, "that he's ... probably playing as good as anybody in the National Football League right now."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Chargers -1. O/U: 51.

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (4-3): Rivers' 15 touchdown passes have gone to six different receivers, with Eddie Royal leading the way with six scores and tight end Antonio Gates (497 yards, two TDs) on pace to lead the team in receiving yards for the first time since 2010. Even running back Ryan Mathews, once considered a first-round bust, is starting to become a force, having rushed for more than 100 yards in back-to-back games. But as productive as Rivers, Mathews and the San Diego offense have been of late, the key to the Chargers' recent success has been a defense that has not allowed an offensive touchdown in a franchise record-tying 11 straight quarters.

ABOUT THE REDSKINS (2-5): The Washington defense, ranked 29th in the NFL, allowed Peyton Manning to throw for 354 yards and four touchdowns last week and surrendered 38 unanswered points to the Broncos in a 45-21 loss. On the bright side, the Redskins have five defensive touchdowns this season - including last week's "pick-six" by DeAngelo Hall - and need only one defensive score to tie the franchise record. Second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III was just 15-of-30 for 132 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against Denver and, to add injury to insult, he bruised his surgically repaired left knee in the fourth quarter, though he is expected to be fine for Sunday's game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Redskins S Brandon Meriweather will be back in the lineup after serving a one-game suspension for issuing several illegal hits against Chicago.

2. Washington WR Pierre Garcon has at least five catches in every game this season, though he hasn't caught a TD in more than a month.

3. Chargers WR Keenan Allen has burst onto the scene the last three games, averaging 96.3 receiving yards and catching a touchdown in two of those contests.

PREDICTION: Redskins 27, Chargers 17

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/131103/preview-chargers-at-redskins