A victory would be the fifth straight for the Chargers, who are doing most of their winning away from home. Their most recent conquest was against the Tennessee Titans two weeks ago in London.
Coming off a bye week, the Chargers (5-2) are preparing for a challenge in a hostile environment against the Seahawks (4-3), who have won four of their last five.
The Chargers will have to deal with Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and a rushing attack led by Chris Carson, who has run for 457 yards and two touchdowns.
“I feel like this is what we need right now,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. “We feel like we are getting better as a football team and this is a heck of a test.”
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has spent extra time looking at the Seahawks, and he’s impressed.
“They are playing really good defense,” Rivers said. “This is no way a slight on the defensive roster, but we used to go into that game with knowing who’s on Seattle’s defense and you could write out every one of them because they had been together for so long, and gone to back-to-back Super Bowls.
“Now they have had so much changes, but it is the same scheme and they still have plenty of names you can recognize. They are a good group and that is why they are ranked up there high in every defensive category.”
The Seahawks expressed mutual respect for Rivers.
“You can’t say enough about how good this guy is,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s having a great year, he’s completing almost 70 percent of his passes. … He’s just so smart. You can’t fool the guy.”
Rivers, 36, has 17 touchdown passes and only three interceptions through seven games while putting the Chargers in the hunt in the AFC West.
Rivers has had Seattle’s number during the two regular-season matchups since Carroll arrived in 2010, throwing for more than 440 yards in a losing effort in 2010 and firing three touchdown passes in a 31-20 Chargers victory when the teams last met four years ago.
Carroll expects nothing less than Rivers’ best shot on Sunday.
“He throws the ball in all kinds of situations, whether he’s in trouble or not,” Carroll said. “He’s not a guy who’s gonna run around a lot, but he moves deftly in the pocket and then he finds ways to make great throws. … It’s as hard as it gets.”
A good group of receivers led by Keenan Allen (501 receiving yards) surrounds Rivers. Melvin Gordon has run effectively with 466 yards and a five-plus yards-per-carry average, and Austin Akeler has complemented Gordon with 305 yards rushing.
“These guys are on it,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks and Wilson have been on their games as well after an 0-2 start. Seattle is also averaging 161 rushing yards per game, and credit goes in part to the offensive line.
“We’ve got a very smart group and experienced group of guys now that we’re playing with,” Carroll said.
Wilson is completing 65.9 percent of his passes for 1,556 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. He connected on 82.4 percent of his throws for 248 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 28-14 road win over the Detroit Lions.
“Really, we’re just kind of hitting it,” Carroll said. “I think we’ve got a chance to get a lot better as we move along through the challenges of the season.”