Bumped from the fanposts.
The Titans come into this week after beating one of the top NFC teams in the Philadelphia Eagles 37-19. The Titans enter sunny San Diego to take on the struggling Chargers. The Chargers are 2-5 after a heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots last Sunday and will face a tough challenge in the 5-2 Titans. The Titans find themselves at the top of the AFC South while the Chargers sit at the bottom of the AFC West. The Chargers are yet another pass first offense the Titans will have to face during this season. The Chargers play a 3-4 defensive scheme which is VY's worst nightmare (sarcastic quip). The Chargers are ranked 1st in Total Defense and Total Offense respectively. They are also ranked 7th in scoring offense but ranked only 17th in total rushing offense this season. The Titans need this win not only as a claim to legitimacy in the AFC playoff race but to also demoralize a Chargers team that can turn a season around in an instant. Now for the players to watch for the Chargers:
Through 7 Games: 2,344 YDS, 13 TDS, 6 INTS, 97.6 QBR
The former 1st round pick by the Giants in 2004 has become one of the leagues best quarterbacks (stats wise) in the NFL. Rivers leads the league in passing yards even without pro-bowler Vincent Jackson in the line-up. He entered this season coming off back-to-back seasons of throwing for +4000 yds. and passer ratings of +100.0 respectively. He is a stat getting machine during the regular season which makes him an ideal person for fantasy football but for the 2-5 Chargers he needs to stop committing turnovers. In order for the Titans to win this game they will have to get to him and get to him often. This will cause Rivers to start forcing throws and that could lead to turnovers which the Charger offense seem to have no qualms about making these days.
Through 7 Games: 35 REC, 540 YDS, 15.4 YDS/REC, 8 TDS
One of the few Marty Schottenheimer-era players left on the San Diego roster. Since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Kent State he has become one of the best TEs to ever play the game. With his size, speed, route running, and leaping ability he is an extremely dangerous target for Rivers over the middle. He has established himself early on this season as Rivers' go-to man and is on his way to yet another pro-bowl year. The Titans will have to take him away early in order to force Rivers to hold on to that ball for an extra second to find another target. That should be enough time for the Titans D-Line to get Rivers to the ground. The Titans can accomplish this feat by assigning Gerald McRath to cover the athletic TE with Griffin or Hope to help McRath over-top.
Through 7 Games: 18 REC, 293 YDS, 16.3 YDS/REC, 0 TDS
Ever since being traded from Dallas, Crayton has made a name for himself in the Norv Turner offense racking up two +5 catch games. Crayton has really come on in the last two weeks for the Chargers and he looks like he could be a viable #2 or #3 receiver for them in the future. He is not a incredibly fast receiver but he runs good routes and he can find the holes in coverage. He also has good hands and great boundary presence that has made him one of Rivers emerging favourite targets. The Titans will more then likely use Verner to cover Crayton because of the job he did on Maclin last Sunday. If the Titans can get Rivers off his rhythm then both Crayton and Gates shouldn't be a problem.
Through 7 Games: 24 REC, 513 YDS, 21.4 YDS/REC, 3 TDS
Malcom is a very tall and fast WR and owns a decent pair of hands to go along with it. He is a reliable target for Rivers due to his size and speed. He excels in catching the deep bombs and has good sideline presence. His route running is suspect but he has all the tools needed to succeed in the NFL. The Titans will probably assign Finnegan to Floyd because Finnegan is great in press coverage and he showed signs of improvement last Sunday against the Eagles in his coverage. Finnegan's style of play could slow down those timing routes that Norv likes to run with Rivers which could result in INTs for our secondary.
Keys to Victory:
- Force Turnovers
- Feed Britt the ball
- Expand the Passing Game
- Get to Rivers
- Avoid making Turnovers
- Win the "battle in the trenches"