This week on the Blitz I bring you my Atlanta Falcons vs San Diego Chargers preview. The Falcons head on the road this week to face a playoff hopeful Chargers squad. Both teams are 2-0, and neither team has shown too many signs of weakness. The Chargers really haven’t played anyone of note, while Atlanta notched a solid win a few days ago against the Broncos. All signs point towards the return of Ryan Matthews to the line-up. There is still a chance Antonio Gates will play this week as well; matching him 1v1 with Sean Weatherspoon will be fun to watch. Playmakers like Gates are why Atlanta took Spoon in the first round. This matchup pits two very talented quarterbacks.
Matt Ryan is atop the NFL standings for QB rating (whatever that means) and Phillip Rivers looks to have returned to form. The Falcons defense survived their first major test Monday night in flying colors, but winning at home is normal for Matt Ryan. I want to see what this team has on the road in a hostile environment. The passing game has finally hit the right gear in Atlanta. Matt Ryan has been able to utilize Julio Jones and Roddy White like a game of Madden. The real surprise has been the defense. In week one, the Falcons looked lost on defense, but on Monday night Mike Nolan's scheme was in full effect. Playmakers began to step out into the spotlight. William Moore and Asante Samuel were all over the field Monday night. San Diego will try to air it out deep so Atlanta needs to apply pressure and rattle Rivers early.
Unfortunately, the Falcons have one glaring concern… Michael “The Burner” Turner. He has looked horrible on the field this year. He is only averaging 2.6 yards per carry, and many fans are questioning his speed and effectiveness in this new offense. If that isn’t bad enough, Michael decided to earn a DUI early Tuesday morning. His BAC was almost higher than his YPC this season, and it pains me to see it happen. The ineffective run game is a major reason why the Broncos were able to make the game interesting on Monday. This week, Atlanta needs to get Turner or JacQuizz Rodgers going early. I don’t feel that it’s over for Turner, in fact, I believe it would be ignorant to doubt him. It is simply too early to tell if Atlanta is phasing him out of the scheme.
This week, expect offensive fireworks from both teams. Julio Jones and Roddy White should be able to have thier way with the Chargers. I see Julio having a rebound game after dropping some early key passes last week. Take the Falcons 27-17. Until they give us a reason to doubt…believe!
As always, I look forward to hearing your feedback on Twitter @ColossalChicken.