What did you think of the Chargers’ week one performance?
While the Chargers were able to squeak out a win up in Oakland, they were outplayed on both sides of the ball. The Raiders ran the ball at will against a Chargers defense that long prided itself on being stout against the run. Fortunately for the Chargers, they were playing against Jamarcus Russell, who still has a long way to go in terms of accuracy and going through his progressions.
The Chargers couldn’t run the ball effectively, but they offset that deficiency by displaying an incredible passing attack. Rivers is living up to his potential and looks every bit the part of a franchise-QB.
Defensively, the Chargers secondary had some breakdowns but generally played pretty well. I would also expect to see the Chargers pass rush to improve this week as well. They have a lot of money invested in their front seven, so those guys need to step up and make some plays behind the line of scrimmage.
ESPN has Chargers ranked 6th overall in the power rankings, do you think that’s a fair placement?
I think the Chargers are a top 10 team in this league right now, but they need to show more consistency if they hope to be considered an elite team. They’re good, but they don’t look like Super Bowl favorites just yet. Of course, it’s only week 2…
What’s the latest on LT?
No word on if LT will play or not. He currently has a protective boot on his foot, but that is only what he would describe as “precautionary”. I don’t expect to find out any real details until gameday. Mum’s the word.
What’s the latest on center Nick Hardwock and guard Louis Vazquez’s injuries?
Center Nick Hardwick will not play this Sunday, and RG Louis Vasquez looks to out as well. Losing these two is going to be a big blow to the Chargers ability to run the ball inside. The Chargers are now depleted on the interior line and have turned to recent free agent signee Dennis Norman who can play Center or Guard. Hopefully he can step in this week and play well.
Shawne Merriman had 5 tackles Monday night, how do you think he’ll matchup against Joe Flacco, coming off his first 300-yard passing game, and the Ravens offense?
I think Merriman will continue to build momentum as the season goes on. He is not 100% mentally or physically, but he’ll get there in time. I expect Merriman to test the Ravens protections and I expect Harbaugh will keep a tight end or running back in to chip on passing downs.
The Ravens defense allowed 24 points to the Chiefs, how do you think Rivers and the Bolts matchup?
The Chargers have an explosive down-field passing attack, and I expect them to throw the ball deep plenty. They’ll challenge the Ravens’ secondary and will look for physical mismatches. The Chargers have tall receivers who can go get the ball at its highest catchable point, so it’ll be interesting to see how Baltimore’s cornerbacks play them.
Philip Rivers will also look to get Darren Sproles the ball in space, and Sproles can turn a screen pass into a big gain. I expect the Chargers will score 30+ points, especially considering they are playing their home opener.
What’s the key to beating the Chargers?
The key to beating the Chargers is to get the ball to your tight end, and maintaining a commitment to the run game. Don’t give Rivers too many opportunities because he’ll find a way to beat you if you let him. Control the clock, limit your mistakes, and keep the ball away from the Chargers offense.