Charging back: San Diego Chargers vs Tennessee Titans 2012

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

In this series, we take a look at the previous game between the Chargers and their opponent. This week, we remember the Titans game from week two of the 2012 season. With some Gifs!

In their home opener last season, the Chargers hosted the Titans in a game that would send them to their first 2-0 start since 2006 when, coincidentally (hilariously) enough, the Chargers beat the Titans to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2002. Confused yet? Of course not. You're BFTB readers. This year, San Diego would again like to get their second win of the season against the Titans, who haven't beaten the Chargers since they were the Oilers in 20 years. So you can say the Titans have technically NEVER beaten the Chargers. There's something odd about that two and zero combination. The record, year, time span... will this be the year to break it? Hopefully not.

With Antonio Gates out with a rib injury, Dante Rosario was the go-to receiver for Philip Rivers, catching three touchdown passes on his four catches (as one is seen in the TDNLA gif). Ryan Mathews, out with a broken collar bone, saw his carries go to Jackie Battle, who had two touchdown runs and 69 yards on 14 carries. Malcom Floyd had a typical big yardage per catch 109 yard game on six receptions.

chargers-titans-2012

Above you can see Will Witherspoon try to get a hand on the ball using his 36 millimeter vertical leaping ability. Easy score for Rosario.

Below you can see the play from the coaches cam courtesy of 'playbook confidential'. Hopefully, it will be Antonio Gates scorching the Tennessee secondary this time.

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However, we also saw Philip Rivers get sacked four times and deal with pressure repeatedly thanks to that infamous offensive line. This year's line and gameplan should ease some of that pressure. Rivers fumbled twice and threw an interception, though the fumbles were recovered and the interception was a glorified punt on a deep third down pass and the team up by two scores.

Satisfying was a way to describe watching the San Diego defense. Even though they had no sacks, Tennessee QB Jake Locker only completed half of his 30 passes for just 174 yards, with 64 of those yards on two catches in the final seconds at the end of the game when there was no hope of a comeback.

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Above we can enjoy one of John Pagano's best blitz designs, and the defense's best executions of one, courtesy of my Defensive Analysis posts. What looked like a frontside safety and OLB blitz was actually an ILB and slot blitz by Butler and Gilchrist. Next time, they might want to counter with a draw play. In that case, we'll see something like the gif below, where Donald Butler does what he does best...

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Locker did have 20 yards on one scramble, which is three more yards than star RB Chris Johnson had on 8 rushing attempts. The pass rush might be better this year with Dwight Freeney, and the jury is still out on the run defense, but Locker is definitely (slightly) better at not throwing so many incompletions and interceptions so far. Even though the last game was a 38-10 victory for the Chargers, expect this one to be a little bit more competitive.

My prediction: Chargers 31 Titans 20

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