Chargers Host Atlanta

This is San Diego’s first real test in the young NFL season. The two teams that the Chargers have defeated so far look like they may be the worst teams in the NFL. But, the Chargers can only play who’s in front of them, so you cannot fault them for winning.

Unfortunately, if you live in Southern California and a Chargers fan, then you will not be able to watch this game on television. The game was blacked out with a reported 9,200 tickets left unsold at the deadline. I have no idea why there are so many tickets available for a 2-0 team, possibly because of the lack of faith fans have in ownership letting the Chargers remain in San Diego. Despite this bad news the Chargers are still a threat in a seemingly weak AFC West, both the Chiefs and Raiders are abominable, and look to increase their lead in the division this Sunday.

Keys to the Game: The Chargers have had to deal with a banged up secondary, but have been able to fight through those injuries so far. However, the task of limiting Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez, will be a tall task for this defense. The Falcons have been throwing the ball a lot more this season, with the lack of success they have had so far running the ball.

The best way to contest this passing game is applying pressure to Matt Ryan who has seen very little pressure this season. When Ryan can stand in the pocket, he will surgically dissect the defense. But if you can get him off his spot, and make him move around he becomes very ordinary. This game for the Chargers is going to be decided in the trenches.

Atlanta has been suspect at stopping the run this season. If Ryan Matthews returns this week, which will not be known until game time, it is important that they maintain a running game for two reasons. To open up the passing game for Rivers and to keep the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands.

Injuries: Yet again, Jared Gaither will be missing another game. He has stated that he cannot wait to get back on the field, but I’m not sure if anyone believes that sentiment. Both Gates and Matthews are expected to play, but those were the thoughts last week before they ended up not playing.

The Falcons only have a couple injuries as well. As of now the only player they will be missing is cornerback Christopher Owens. Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is questionable, but is expected to play.

Final Analysis: I think that the Chargers home field advantage will play a large part in this game, and ultimately it will make the difference. The Falcons will be able to move the ball through the air, but a lack of a running game will be their undoing. San Diego will improve their record to 3-0 in a very close game. San Diego 23 Atlanta 21.

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