The 49ersHub is continuing the series of "Ask the Expert" with San Diego Chargers' Richard Wade up next. Wade is the managing editor of SB Nation's Bolts from the Blue, the Chargers' website. Wade can be found on Twitter on @RichardWade.
He spoke with us in an interview about the Chargers-49ers matchup that's coming up on Thursday, August 31. Check out these questions and answers from Richard and go give him a follow on Twitter for great Chargers' content.
1. With the move to Los Angeles, what's the impact of playing at StubHub center for the Chargers? Is there a home-field advantage still?
It's hard to say for certain what impact the move to StubHub [Center] will have this season, but early indications are not positive. It's a unique stadium environment, but not necessarily a good one. Attendance for preseason has been poor and has featured plenty of away team fans. Home Field Advantage will likely be minimal if existant at all.
2. What do you expect from the Chargers' defense with their strong defensive line play from Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa?
The defense was already quite good last year. Don't let the points allowed stat fool you. That was more about the offense and special teams being bad. [DE Joey] Bosa and [LB Melvin] Ingram are excellent, but the pairing of [DB Jason] Verrett and [DB Casey] Hayward on the outside may actually be better. If the change from [DC John] Pagano to [DC Gus] Bradley is neutral or better they should be a top 10 unit.
3. Many think the Chargers are dark-horse favorites in the AFC West, is there a realistic chance they win the division or make the playoffs?
Making the playoffs or winning the West is certainly in the range of possible outcomes, but the Chargers lack quality depth so they will need good injury luck for that to happen. They can't afford to lose anyone else important. The injuries to Mike Williams, Forrest Lamp, and Denzel Perryman are already stretching them thin.
4. What have you thought about the 49ers' offseason moves with John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan? Is there future looking bright?
The John Lynch hire was surprising, but his first draft appeared to go rather well. And I'm a big fan of Kyle Shanahan. He is one of the finest offensive minds in football. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to being a head coach. I'd be optimistic, though.
5. Are there any Chargers' rookies that 49ers' fans should be aware of for the matchup on Thursday?
Keep an eye on Desmond King if he plays. He was taken in the fifth round and should be the starter at nickel back week 1. He is the definition of a playmaker. He always seems to be around the ball and when he gets opportunities he seizes them.
Look for this exciting series to continue during the regular season as well, with various experts from different teams joining the 49ersHub to answer questions. Make sure to follow us on Twitter as well @49ersHub and give us feedback on what you think we should do!