What to Look for in Tomorrow's Chargers/Falcons Game

  • Larry English is playing!  Anything less than 3 sacks and 2 spinal cord injuries to opposing players will be booed.  Just kidding.  All I want to see from English is the same smoothness coming off the edge as a OLB as I saw from him as a DE in college.  I'd also be interested to see at least one play with Shaun Phillips, Shawne Merriman and Larry "Sean" English on the field at the same time.
  • The Right Guard position is not as locked up as we once thought.  I haven't heard who is starting, but I'm willing to bet it's Kynan Forney (partially because they're playing his old team).  If Forney plays bad and Vasquez stands out with an excellent performance, this could get serious.
  • First team offense and defense typically play the most in the 3rd preseason game.  Word from the team is the first teamers will play the entire first half and maybe more, with some obvious exceptions (LT, Gates, Cesaire).  It's the most entertaining game of the preseason and also the one with the most risk (especially on turf).  I want to see the offensive line holding their own and the LBs getting some pressure on a few blitz packages.
  • Michael Turner will undoubtedly be pumped up to be going against his ex-teammates and they'll want to stop him in his tracks.  The first half of this game will tell us everything we need to know about the strength of our run defense without Jacques Cesaire.  I feel like Kevin Burnett will make some big plays.
  • Without LT, and wanting to avoid injury to their most important players, the Chargers running game will probably be handled mostly by Michael Bennett, Gartrell Johnson and Jacob Hester.  A lot of decisions are made after this game, so Gartrell and Mike Tolbert should be focused and determined.
  • I can't get enough of the Chargers secondary.  I don't know if it can possibly be as good as it looks in practice and looked against Arizona last week.  Can it?  I think almost anyone could play SS with these guys around them and a good pass rush, so I'm not worried about Clinton Hart.  (Pick City!)
  • How do we handle Tony Gonzalez?  He's a player we're familiar with, and one that our defense had trouble defending in 2008 (16 catches, 175 yards, 3 TDs in two games).  Does Burnett follow him all over the field?  How do the Safeties (Weddle, Hart, Gregory) handle him?  When Atlanta is on offense I'm going to keep an eye on Tony G.
  • Ogemdi Nwagbuo could make a great impression with fans and coaches with a strong performance against Atlanta's first-team offense (if he's not starting, he's definitely in the rotation).

Don't forget to e-mail me your questions for tomorrow's inaugural BFTB Mailbag.

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