Monday, September 20, 2010

First Look: San Diego Chargers

Good quarterbacks are hard to beat. Philip Rivers is a great quarterback. He is the classic strong-armed pocket passer that can make every throw with accuracy and velocity. Seahawks fans may remember watching his first professional pass in a pre-season game a few years back. It did not take long to see his talent even at that point.

More than superior talent, the Chargers have wisely surrounded Rivers with "tall." Vincent Jackson is getting a lot of pub for his holdout as a Pro Bowl receiver, but the Chargers offense has hardly noticed. They are 3rd in the NFL in yards/game, 4th in passing offense at over 300 yards/game. Players like Antonio Gates and Malcolm Floyd can run down the field and just be "tall." Kelly Jennings may want to call in sick this week.

Rivers did throw two picks last week, but that's about the only bright spot for the Seahawks defense to review as he completed over 75% of his passes. Ouch.

Their ground game is not far behind, led by super rookie prospect, Ryan Mathews. Mathews is all of 6'0" 220 lbs. When you draw up an NFL running back, he looks exactly like this guy. He is complimented by might mite Darren Sproles, and FB Mike Tolbert who led the team with 82 yards rushing last week. The running game checks in at #6 in the NFL at over 130 yards/game.

Defensively, they're pretty darn good as well. They are #9 in total yards allowed/game, and have already scored twice on defense. Amazingly, they have four interceptions. The pass rush is almost pedestrian by comparison with only three sacks.

Any Seahawks fan looking for optimism should focus more on who the Chargers have faced than at the Chargers themselves. Kansas City and Jacksonville are not playoff teams, and may be among the worst teams in the NFL when all is said and done. Yes, KC is 2-0, but Matt Cassell threw for under 100 yards in the win over the Chargers. Play that game again 10 times, and the Chargers win 8 or 9 of them. The Chargers did get rattled a lot by the noise in that game, so the 12th man has another chance to influence the outcome.

It will take a special performance to win this game.

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