Author's Note: Don't get all annoyed at this post and its title. I do this every week. I write one post with reasons the Chargers could lose, or the reasons they will lose if they do lose, and then another one in an hour or so with reasons the Chargers will win if they do win. Your optimism will be here soon enough.
This is where it all starts, right?
If you're going to lose to the Detroit Lions, the likeliest reason is going to be that Calvin Johnson went nuts. At any moment, the man can catch 14 passes in a game, or 3 touchdowns in a game, or go for 329 receiving yards in a game (those are all things that he has actually done before), and it's hard to win a game when the Lions are rolling out a robot at WR that was specifically built by the nerds at Carnegie Mellon to take the soul of opposing defenses.
You'll hear a lot about the height difference, I'm sure FOX already has several graphics showing off just how much taller the tall Calvin Johnson is than short guys like myself, Brandon Flowers, and Jason Verrett. That's because it's a big deal and it essentially means Johnson will win every jump ball and every 50/50 ball unless something is wrong with him.
While I am thrilled with the changes the San Diego Chargers have made to their offensive line, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't at least a little bit worried about where they are as a group heading into a Week 1 matchup against one of the more dominant Nose Tackles of the last decade.
I know I take some heat for this opinion, but I really don't want the game resting on Philip Rivers' shoulders (or back). I don't want him getting hit, and I don't want him taking risks. I want "game manager" Philip Rivers that is more like this guy:
and less like this guy:
The key to keeping Rivers' fist out of his snare? It's the offensive line keeping Haloti Ngata on the other side of the line of scrimmage, which means keeping the running game moving in the right direction.
I know Ngata is old (and, sure, he "looks" fat despite the fact that he's probably faster than anyone reading this post right now), but that matters a lot more in Week 10 than it does in Week 1. He might just take over this game and win it by himself.
Yeah, I know. Let's have some fun first.
Okay, are we done having fun? Cool.
While I 100% support Tom Telesco and Mike McCoy keeping Josh Lambo over Nick Novak, and do think that he'll be very useful in the field-position game, there's probably going to be a game or two this season where Lambo's nerves get the better of him and he can't be counted on to make FGs.
There's probably a better chance of that happening in Week 1, in the season/home opener, than any other week. So, maybe we should be a little bit worried?