This game has serious implications in deciding what kind of expectations the Seahawks fan base should have for this season. Most fans will come out pumped, buoyed by the euphoria of a crowd-induced week 1 victory. Some will come expecting to lose based on last week's poor outing and the strength of the Chargers squad. Any Seahawks victory over the Chargers is highly dependent on the crowd delivering its best performance.
The Chargers were rattled in week one in KC, and were flagged numerous times for false starts and delay of games. Philip Rivers was reduced to whiny little brat in that game when he couldn't get the silent snap count working with his center. Fans can effect this game.
The Chargers have benefited from a strong rushing game thus far in 2010. I don't think they need a great rushing game in order to win this game, but it would be interesting to see how their offense operates with limb severed. Given the strength of the Chargers passing attack, any Seahawks victory must include a continuation of stingy run defense. Fewer rushing yards should lead to more difficult 3rd down distances and a better chance for a pass rush.
I don't think we have seen everything Pete Carroll, Gus Bradley and the defense have in store. Carroll spoke a lot this week about the lack of pass rush in the Denver game, and how important it was for the team to work on that. Expect blitzes you haven't see before, and if those result in turnovers and/or low 3rd down conversions, the Seahawks could rise up and surprise the Chargers.
Offensively, Mike Williams is going to punk an opposing defense soon. Golden Tate gave teams tape they'll need to prepare for and Deon Butler is gaining confidence every game. One of these receivers needs to eclipse 100 yards for the Seahawks to win.
The rushing game feels like its gaining momentum. It will be valuable to see how much of the success last week was due to Denver's weak defense vs. Stacy Andrews realigning the gravitational force on the field. A strong running game could help to keep the Chargers offense off the field, which is always a good thing.
If the Seahawks win, expect to spend the next week discussing some major surprise performance by an individual or a unit on the team. The Seahawks have not yet put together a game that would beat the Chargers. Sunday would be a great day to do it.