Game Preview: Chargers at Rams, Chargers on Offense

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 10: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 10, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Chargers Running the Ball

  • 12th in Yards/Game (124.0), down from 10th last week.
  • 13th in Yards/Carry (4.3), down from 9th last week.
  • 5th in Rush TDs (5), down from 4th last week.
  • 19th in Runs for 1st downs (20.8%), down from 16th last week.
  • 6th in Runs for 20+ Yards (5), down from 3rd last week.
  • 30th in Fumbles (5), down from 28th last week.

Although the Chargers faced one of the (statistically) worst run defenses in the league last week, most of the ground game was shut down and at times made to look foolishly incompetent. It's not surprise that the team dropped in it's stats and rankings across the board.

The good news on the day was that Ryan Mathews looked healthy, strong and fast. Honestly, going into this season I had a thought about him starting off the season slow because it seems like many rookie RBs typically do that before recovering and eventually reaching their potential. Hopefully the time spent on the sidelines has helped his ankle to heal and for him to take care of his ball-control issues, because the Chargers are going to need him to carry more of the load going forward if the offense is going to be as balanced as Norv has hoped.

Rams Stopping the Run

  • 16th in Yards/Game allowed (110.8)
  • 18th in Yards/Carry allowed (4.3)
  • 2nd in Rush TDs allowed (1)
  • 9th in Runs for 1st downs against (18.8%)
  • 26th in Runs for 20+ Yards allowed (6)
  • 7th in Fumbles recovered (3)

The Rams have had an underrated defense, particularly their run defense, since Steve Spagnuolo took over the Head Coaching position. Their defensive line is young, but talented, and their linebackers are at least adequate. In terms of stats, this should be a better run defense than what the Chargers faced last week in Oakland. Let's hope that have better success.

Advantage: Tie.

 

Chargers Throwing the Ball

  • 1st in Yards/Game (337.8), up from 3rd last week.
  • 1st in Yards/Attempt (9.4), up from 2nd last week.
  • 1st in TDs (11), up from 2nd last week.
  • 1st in Passes for 1st down (45.7%), same as last week. Nobody else is even close.
  • 1st in Passes for 20+ yards (32), same as last week. Only the Broncos could be considered in the same ballpark.
  • 20th in Sacks taken (11), down from 14th last week.
  • 11th in Interceptions thrown (4), up from 14th last week.

I, for one, am glad to see Philip Rivers dominating with the deep pass yet again. I don't think he's had an interception since the game in Seattle, even though he's getting more daring with throwing the ball down the field. When you look at those first 5 categories, then add in Marcus McNeill coming back this week, it's just about impossible to say that any team is better than the Chargers at throwing the ball so far in 2010.

 

Rams Defending the Pass

  • 22nd in Yards/Game allowed (231.2)
  • 13th in Yards/Attempt (6.8)
  • 12th in TDs allowed (6)
  • 14th in Passes for 1st downs allowed (32.6%)
  • 25th in Passes for 20+ yards allowed (17)
  • 13th in Sacks (10)
  • 17th in Interceptions (4)

Not the worst defense by any stretch of the imagination, and I still consider O.J. Atogwe a dangerous player to be throwing the ball near, but to expect them to do things to slow down a passing offense that better defenses before them haven't been able to do might be a bit much.

Advantage: Chargers. 

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