I'm not joking when I say I was more impressed with Dwight Freeney than I was with any other San Diego Chargers player after that game against the Cardinals. I had been concerned with him all preseason, coming back from injury and trying to fight off the notion that he's washed up, because we really hadn't heard anything but worry and doubts from those that had seen him practice.
Well, Freeney is still an absolute demon against left tackles in the NFL. In his first game, he may have missed a couple of opportunities for sacks, but he is tied for league-leader in QB Hurries with six. SIX! To give you an idea of how good that is:
If Dwight Freeney has 6 QB Hurries every game this season, he'll finish with 96. Last year's leader (among 3-4 OLBs) was Tamba Hali, who finished with 58.
Freeney is not only a pass-rushing beast that can help shut down almost any passing attack. He single-handedly helped the Colts when they went up against mobile QBs because he was as fast as they were. Just because he didn't bring home an MVP Trophy in Week 1 doesn't mean that Dwight isn't set to have a monster year, and it could start this week.
Let's be honest, here. We're upset with how poor the offense looked in Week 1. We're upset with the team forgetting about the running attack and focusing on Eddie Royal. We're upset with the lack of discipline and flow.
When have you ever known Mike McCoy to not fix an offense and fit it to the players he has? That's why he was hired as the head coach, right? Give him Kyle Orton, he'll figure it out. Give him Tim Tebow, he'll figure it out. Give him Peyton Manning and, well, that one was easy.
Mike McCoy's job isn't to build an offensive gameplan or call the plays. It is quality control. The quality of the offense was bad and needs to be fixed, and that's what McCoy's resume says he does best. There's absolutely no reason to believe that the same missteps that were made in Week 1 will be made again in Week 2, which means the offense should look more like last year's juggernaut (which we'd be confident to match up against the Seattle defense).
Call me crazy.
I think this game is going to be won on Special Teams. I think both defenses will play well, and we'll see something resembling a battle of Field Goals and field position.
That's a game that the Seahawks normally win, but the Chargers have the pieces to do it. Nick Novak seemingly never misses FGs anymore, Mike Scifres is a top-5 punter, and the roster is filled with guys that deserve recognition simply for their work on Special Teams (Andrew Gachkar, Darrell Stuckey, Jerry Attaochu, Seyi Ajirotutu).
A close game, decided by special teams, at home for the first time this year? That gives the Chargers a good chance of stealing the close victory away from the Seahawks.
Bonus: The Chargers
The most unpredictable team in all of the land. They're terrible on prime time, unless they're playing against Peyton Manning. They routinely lose games on long-rest against bad teams, just as they routinely win games on short-rest against great teams.
In this game, they'll be playing on semi-short rest and the Seahawks have had a week and a half to prepare. They should lose, everything says they're going to be dominated, which means Chargers fans know what will happen next. San Diego will win.