The San Diego Chargers are coming off an invigorating win against the Indianapolis Colts. After Luck toppled the Seahawks not many would have pegged Rivers to walk away with the W. Alas he surprised many beating a team that he should have lost to.
That’s really the story of the Chargers season. Beating teams that they should have lost too and losing to teams whom they should have beat.
Here’s a few things to watch for going into Sunday evening…
1. Don’t worry so much about the ground game. The Chargers just don’t like running it. They’ve managed one rushing TD all year compared to 14 passing TD’s. Talking of the passing game against Denver the Jaguars secondary did a pretty good job stopping Peyton and company. We need more of the same against Rivers.
If Rivers is in ‘flawless’ mode then he’ll be extremely tough to stop. Gates will undoubtedly be his go-to guy and as of yet no one has been able to cover him all that well.
2. We need to force more three and outs. Against the leagues best 3 and out team last weekend (Denver) we managed to force a couple much to our surprise. This week there is to be no let-up as we play the third best team at avoiding three and outs in San Diego.
Rivers can be extremely methodical with short passes driving his team the length of the field time and again. Give him enough time and he’ll tear you apart. We need our D-Line to be on top form, they are good enough to cause issues against a less than stellar Chargers O-Line.
3. It’s all about our D. This could so easily be one of those games which is won by our Defense. In terms of team D the Jaguars have managed to keep opposing Receivers to less yards per attempt, they have more stuffs, forced over twice as many fumbles and our secondary has allowed less WR completions than seen in San Diego.
Rivers won’t have as much free reign through the air and on the ground as some might be expecting.
4. Could we see Cypriens first INT? I don’t know I just have a feeling that Cyprien may be able to pluck one out of the air. Whilst Cyprien has been far from perfect, his rookie season thus far has been fairly impressive. His wrap-up tackling is sublime and with one sack to his name I’m sure he’s relishing the thought of an INT or perhaps a forced fumble… either will do.
5. What can Henne do? Henne is definitely starting for the injured Gabbert. He is still the better QB and gets another chance to stake his claim as the No.1 QB in Jacksonville. Against Denver he was playing a very poor pass D… against San Diego he again faces a D that is pretty horrendous when facing the passing game.
I think Gus needs to have a bit more confidence in the redzone and on 3rd downs and perhaps opt to give Henne a chance to convert a little more often. The San Diego rush D isn’t amazing but it’s not overly bad either, the key to winning this game will be through the air.
Ultimately the Jaguars have a lot of confidence walking into this game (rightfully so). The Chargers won’t be a pushover, at the same time neither will Jacksonville.
If the Jags D can light up Rivers and force some turnovers, leaving Henne to throw a few crucial TD’s Blackmon’s way, then we could be looking at the Jags first win of the year.