Chargers take on the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome tonight at 5:00 (PDT). The Chargers head into Minnesota with a 2-0 pre-season record.
What will it take for the Chargers to pull off a third straight win?
The answer this week lies in the Chargers offense. Minnesota has the aid of one of the most experienced and talented pass rushers in the game, Jared Allen. The Chargers main concern as they head into the game is protecting the QB and running the ball efficiently. Though starting Tackle Jared Gaither had returned to practice this last week to rehab, he will not be on the field this week and we will again see un-drafted free agent Mike Harris. He will go head to head with Allen most plays and much of the Chargers offensive success will hinge on Harris' ability to fend him off.
The Chargers will be without the help of QB Philip Rivers and TE Antonio Gates. Coaches have decided that the two should sit out this week to avoid injury.
With Rivers absence, all eyes will be on new starter Charlie Whitehurst to lead the team as he did last week against the Dallas Cowboys. Whitehust faces an experienced Vikings first team defense and will be tested with the pressure they can bring.
Look also for Jarrett Lee to make another appearance since Whitehurst is a starter.
In order to disrupt the pressure, look for Norv Turner to run the ball to the outside more against the Vikings. Trying to pick on the younger secondary of Minnesota.
Defensively, the Chargers will look to mix the calls up, bringing heavy pass rushes to keep second year QB Christian Ponder on the run. The Bolts will need to pay special attention to pro-bowl wide receiver and slot specialist Percy Harvin. If the Chargers give Harvin an inch, he will take a mile as proven before.
Look for the Chargers to play more pass coverage when QB Joe Webb enters the game. Joe Webb is a dual threat QB that can be a problem if given the space to run. They will attempt to take the run away from him by playing zones and hopefully making him throw the ball. The Chargers have a fast LB core and talented DB's playing for second team to cause some turnovers off Joe Webb throws.
Be sure to tune into the game tonight at 5:00 (PDT) to catch your Chargers take on the Vikings. Also, remember to check Twitter for tweets on the game and pictures of the action.
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