Chargers vs. Seahawks Week 3 Preview
Chargers on offense
The Chargers will exploit the size advantage they have over the all under six-foot defensive backs of the Seahawks. Malcom Floyd will have at least a six-inch height advantage over either of the starting Seattle cornerbacks. We will surely see plenty of Philip Rivers to the 6 foot, 5 inch Floyd and to the 6 foot, 3 inch Legedu Naanee.
You just have to think there is no way tight end Antonio Gates will be left alone by the defense like he was last week. Gates was open all over the field against the Jags. If the Seahawks do not put two guys on Gates, especially on third down, it’s going to be a long day for Seattle fans.
Even if Ryan Mathews is not healthy enough to go on Sunday, the Chargers running duties seem to be pretty safe in the hands of Mike Tolbert. The human bowling ball crashed through the Jacksonville defense last week for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
The running backs should be involved more in the passing game on Sunday. Seattle has not shown the ability to stop backs from catching the ball and gaining big yards. Darren Sproles could be big on Sunday.
Chargers on defense
San Diego got after David Garrard last week and made a pretty respectable quarterback look horrible. Expect much of the same this week against the Seahawks. Though they only had two sacks last week, they did put enough pressure on the quarterback to force him into bad decisions.
Cornerback Antoine Cason took advantage of Garrard’s errant throws and had a career day last Sunday, recording two interceptions and a forced fumble. Cason and Quentin Jammer have another favorable match up this week. None of the Seattle receivers are anything spectacular.
The Line backing group had a big day last week and will likely do the same this week to Seattle’s quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. Brandon Siler, filling in for the injured Stephen Cooper, contributed with an interception as did Kevin Burnett.
Seattle’s offense is pretty comparable to Jacksonville’s maybe, maybe a little less effective then the Jags. So, another huge day by the Chargers defense seems likely.
Seahawks on offense
There is just not a lot going on with the Seahawk offense. They are not only lacking an identity on offense, they are lacking skill as well.
After a three interception game against the Broncos last week, there were rumblings in the Pacific Northwest about sitting starting quarterback Hasselbeck in favor of former Charger Charlie Whitehurst. Hasselbeck will remain the starter for now, but as appears to be the trend in the NFL, coaches are not opposed to yanking unproductive quarterbacks in favor of their second stringer.
The biggest threat on offense is tight end John Carlson, who leads the team with eight receptions and 84 yards. The rest of the receiving corps are just average, at best. Golden Tate, a rookie wide receiver from Notre Dame, was spectacular in college and showed some flashes last week. He caught a 52-yard touchdown pass and impressed on punt returns. Tate will test the shaky Chargers special teams.
Seattle just hasn’t featured the running game yet this season. Justin Forsett is averaging almost six yards per carry this season, but can’t get a fulltime load of work. He has been sharing carries with Julius Jones and Leon Washington, neither of whom are lighting the world on fire, averaging just a little over fire yards per carry…COMBINED.
Seahawks on defense
Linebacker Lofa Tatupu is still one of the upper echelon defenders in the league and is the clear leader of a Seattle defense that has been very stingy against the run early this season.
After two games into the regular season, the Seahawks rank 5th in the NFL against the rush. And it’s not like they have faced a couple of slouches. They limited San Francisco’s Frank Gore to a measly 38 yards (2.2 yards per carry) in week one and Denver’s Knowshon Moreno to only 51 yards (2.1 YPC) in week two.
Concentrating on stop Moreno last week made them susceptible to the Broncos passing game last week. Kyle Orton torched them for more than 300 yards last week.
Rookie safety Earl Thomas leads the Seahawks in tackles. In fact, four of the top five tacklers on the Seahawks are defensive backs. Sure, the DB’s are helping with run stopping, but in last week’s game, they were making tackles several yards down the field.
The San Diego air show will take over Seattle. The Chargers have way too much on both sides of the ball for the Seahawks to handle. Floyd and Naanee are just too big and too strong and the short passing game to the running backs will take the place of a traditional running game if the Seahawks try to stack the line of scrimmage.
Hasselbeck will be pressured from start to end and a Whitehurst sighting is not entirely out of the question.
This will be an easy winner for the Bolts.