Sunday, the Chargers will go head to head with the white hot Atlanta Falcons at Qualcomm Stadium. Both teams will be defending their undefeated records this season.
To come out of week three with a perfect record, the Chargers will need to get the run game going. The hopeful return of Ryan Mathews should be the solution to this. If Mathews does not return, the Chargers will need to find their niche in the run game with Curtis Brinkely and Jackie Battle tandem again.
Against a strong Atlanta defense, the Chargers will need to be able to spread the ball around the field and attack both the passing game and the run game. A pass heavy defense may have worked against lesser defenses in the past weeks, but this week it is especially imperative that we show more of a balanced look.
If Mathews is back, the offense will be very hard for the Atlanta defense to keep up. The Charger offense that we have seen in the past two weeks can control a game. Simply put, Mathews will elevate this offense to that of an elite level.
In addition, the Chargers will need another solid performance from Mike Harris. In the last two weeks, Harris has far exceeded his expectations and will continue to improve as the season progresses. Harris needs just a little more work on the run blocking, but rest assured Coach Turner has plays that will allow Harris and the run game to have a successful day.
The matchup of the game may be the Chargers defense versus Matt Ryan and a high powered Falcons offense. If the Chargers can contain the run like they did last week against Chris Johnson, they can focus on pressuring Ryan and forcing him to make throws under duress.
The Bolts have had plenty of success on putting pressure on the quarterback in weeks past although a stats sheet may not show that. They will need to continue their success on third down and finish their tackles.
On the edge, watch for the matchup between the Atlanta receivers and the San Diego defensive backs. Roddy White and Julio Jones will both be looking to have a big game and Jammer and Cason will need to respond.
The Chargers are very capable of winning this game if they stick to the script, and play quality Charger football, if they start to make mistakes and letting big play go in later quarters, the game can get away from them.
I'm taking the Chargers to win this one, they are at home, and are coming off a big win against Tennessee and are looking to grow on their success and expand their lead in the AFC West.
Chargers 34 Atlanta 17
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