Aug 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews (24) runs the ball as linebacker Donald Butler (56) gets blocked during training camp at Charger Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
In a weekly piece, I had the privilege to speak with Ernie Padaon, the editor of Bolt Beat, the Fansided San Diego Chargers blog. I asked him a few questions about the Falcons-Chargers matchup that will take place later today, and he had some very insightful things to bring to the table.
Blogging Dirty– What do you think of the play of Jammer, Cason, and Weddle in the secondary so far this season? Have they been better or worse than you expected entering the season.
Bolt Beat– Eric Weddle is a STUD and team’s have avoided throwing in his direction all season. Jammer has stepped up nice after having a rough time last season. Cason is the guy that teams tend to target and he has done OK.
It is tough to gauge how well the secondary really is doing in the first two games though. The Raiders were missing two of their top receivers and the Titans have Jake Locker as their quarterback. This week will be the best test we have all season.
BD– Shaun Phillips is a good linebacker and talented at playing in coverage as well as getting after the quarterback. How has the rookie Ingram looked, and at what level is this pass-rush playing at?
BB–Melvin Ingram is going to be good player in this league when he gets the opportunity to play more. He has working behind Jarret Johnson right now, but his best skill is his pass rushing ability. He still is looking for his first sack, but he has hurried opposing quarterbacks on multiple occasions.
BD–The offensive line of the Chargers has looked very weak the past couple seasons, and LT Jared Gaither is questionable to play. What deficiencies are on the o-line, and how troubling are these woes.
BB– The biggest question is out at left tackle. Gaither won’t play this weekend. He has been called the BIG LAZY by San Diego fans, since he has only been able to participate in 2 practices since the season opened up in training camp. His injury is a mystery.
An undrafted free agent, Mike Harris, steps in at left tackle and he is going to have his ups and downs. Last weekend was a down. He had two holding calls on him and he allowed 10 hurries on Philip Rivers.
The offense has adjusted by getting the ball to the tight ends and running backs more in the passing game.
BD–Antonio Gates has been really good for a really long time, but struggles with injuries. Is he still a huge threat in the passing game, or is the injury bug finally catching up to him and decreasing his productivity?
BB–I don’t mind if you all forget about him. He is still a huge threat in the passing game. He is fighting through some sore ribs at the moment and not sure how he will do after taking a hit.
The Chargers may limit his action with Dante Rosario showing that he can be a threat in the passing game last week. Rosario caught three touchdowns in our win against the Titans.
BD–What is your prediction for the game?
BB– This is the first real test for the Chargers and the team is determined to make a statement to the rest of the AFC West and the league. A win here will gain back respect and could be a launching board for the rest of the season.
I expect Ryan Mathews to have an awesome overall game. He will be involved in the passing game and in the running game. It seems that the Falcons struggled against the run a bit, so Ryan should have some fun.
Chargers 27 – Falcons 21