In case you missed my podcast appearance on Revenge of the Birds earlier this week, Jess Root and I stumbled across this behemoth of a stat:
In fact, here is Carson's stat-line in five career games against San Diego:
148/212, 2,036 yards, 14 TDs, 3 INTs (9 sacks)
I wanted to put the sacks in there because it shows that he didn't necessarily have all day to throw, either. It could be that the Chargers secondary hasn't been all that good for a few years now, but I actually think the San Diego zone defense plays right to Carson's strength. Look for him to have another big night throwing the ball against the Chargers.
Since everyone needs to have an opinion on who the best CB in the game is these days, my vote is Peterson. I think there are maybe two WRs in the entire league that he wouldn't be able to shut down for an entire game and neither of them play for San Diego.
Antonio Gates may not play this game, and will be hobbled (and 34-years-old) if he does, which means most of the San Diego passing offense will rely on Keenan Allen. Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd are fine players, but inconsistent. Danny Woodhead, for as great as he is, can not be the center of the passing attack as a running back.
The problem is, Patrick Petereson will likely be following Allen around the field and stands a good chance of shutting him down for most of the game, preventing him from getting open and keeping Philip Rivers from throwing the ball in that direction.
Most of the time, if the defense can shut down half of the field on a one-dimensional passing attack, they stand a very good chance of winning the game. This will be a tough matchup for Frank Reich, and he could have a hard time finding a reliable weapon on 3rd & long.
Monday Late-Night Football
We should start referring to these as MLNF games, I've decided. They are not normal Monday Night Football games. Not by a long shot.
I've said it once and I'll say it a thousand times: These games are weird. It's a start time the players are not typically used to, in a week 1 matchup where it is difficult to gameplan against your opponent, and anything can happen (and usually does).
On paper, this looks like a fairly even matchup between two teams with issues on defense but strong offenses. On the field, it could be something totally different. As confident as you may feel about the Chargers chances to win this one, you have to admit that in a Week 1 MLNF matchup on the road, nothing is certain.