Tale Of The Tape: San Diego Chargers At Tennessee Titans
- QuarterbackAfter a painful home loss in Week One in which they coughed up a 21-point lead, the Chargers rebounded in excellent fashion in beating the Eagles on the road thanks in large part to a sensational performance by Philip Rivers. He threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns and he was sharp in his decision making and accurate in his passing.The Titans may have been more impressive in losing to Houston in Week Two than they were in beating Pittsburgh in Week One. The Texans’ offense was much more productive as Jake Locker looked much sharper in throwing for two touchdowns without an interception. Locker has the physical tools to be successful and is showing signs of understanding the mental part of the game.
- OffenseThe Chargers know they will get in trouble if they have to ask Rivers to carry their offense. They feel much more comfortable when they have a running game and Ryan Mathews gave them just enough – 73 yards – to take some heat off the quarterback. Malcolm Floyd left the game on a stretcher after absorbing a huge hit but Chargers head coach Mike McCoy said he would be available for this game.Mike Munchak’s team appears to be maturing. They nearly won two straight games on the road and their balanced offense was a big advantage. Speedy Chris Johnson is coming off a 96-yard game, while Kendall Wright, Nate Washington and Kenny Britt are capable receivers. Britt has explosive characteristics and can catch the deep ball.
- DefenseThe Chargers are going to be hard-pressed to slow down the Titans because they lack the strength in their front seven to shut down the Tennessee blockers. Cornerback Shareece Wright is healthy again and he did a solid job of tackling with five stops vs. Philadelphia. Linebacker Reggie Walker is not going to let the ball carrier slip through his grasp very often.The Titans appear to be much tougher and more focused on defense than they were a year ago. Start off with linebacker Zach Brown, who is coming off a 12-tackle effort against the Texans. LB Moise Fokou may be the best tackler nobody knows. He has great range and strength.
- Special TeamsNick Novak enjoyed a sensational game against the Eagles, making all four of his FG attempts including the game-winner in the final seconds. Mike Scifres averaged 40.0 yards on his punts and gets good hang time. Eddie Royal has the speed to give the Chargers a decent return game.The Titans feel secure with their kicking game because they believe Rob Bironas is going to make clutch kicks and that he has the leg strength to do it from long distance. Brett Kern is coming off a solid day in which he averaged 47.8 yards per punt. Darius Reynaud appears ordinary as a return specialist.
Both teams are trying to climb the ladder this year and both have shown signs of success. The Titans come home after playing two solid road games and that should help propel them to the victory. -Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor