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5 Good Things: Chargers at Cardinals, Preseason

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Bryan Freaking Walters: I still don't know how he makes the team, but Bryan Walters is having the type of preseason that you really can't ignore. Not only was he the 2nd leading receiver against the Cardinals (5 catches, 61 yds, 1 TD), and not only did he make the game winning TD catch, but he also made the most impressive catch of the game on the play right before it. However, it was none of those things that made me think "He's going to make the team." That I got from him being used so often and so prominently with the first-team offense.

Vincent Jackson: VJax is quietly having the perfect preseason/offseason. He went ahead and got married, came into camp and seemed like a new, more mature Vincent. He's gone about his business at Chargers Park and anywhere else, being the deep threat and catching any pass thrown his way. Also, as if you haven't noticed, he's turned into a bit of a leader and a better teammate than he once was. Most importantly, after last season's debacle, he's looked completely healthy and dominant. He was the Bolts' leading receiver with 5 catches for 78 yards.

If A.J. Smith has a checklist of things Vincent needs to do to get his long-term deal in San DIego, I'm sure he's been happily checking a few boxes lately.

 

Antwan Barnes: I knew this was going to happen. It always happens. Barnes comes out and looks flat-out dominant against a terrible Cardinals offensive line, and for the rest of the season the Chargers will be questioned as to why he's not starting. That being said, Barnes was an animal last night despite finishing with just 1 sack. He created a ton of pressure when he was asked to, and looked like the fastest guy in the box most of the time. He'll be a valuable weapon for the Chargers this season.

 

Richard Goodman: Goody was a big reason that I didn't think Walters would make the team this season. Despite Walters' preseason KO return TD, nobody has more potential on returns than Goodman and he's shown that in back-to-back games now. A 36-yard return last week and a 43-yard return this week? I think he'll be able to provide Rivers & Co. a shortened field at least once per game, and that's big. It doesn't hurt matters that he can play WR in a pinch, either.

 

Nate Janikowski: Does anyone get more benefit out of kickoffs being 5 yards closer to the returner than Nate Kaeding? Last night was the first time, I believe, that he's kicked off and he looked like he was having fun with it. He boomed one to the end zone that was returned, then hit a few line drives that bounced out of the back of the end zone. If he can do that consistently, it will relieve this team of many Special Teams worries. Oh, he also went 2/2 on FGs (including a 52 yarder), which is not too shabby.