Aug 24, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Malcolm Floyd (80) against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Chargers defeated the Vikings 12-10. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Everyone understands how tough the Titans schedule is early this season, but they will have to play a lot better in the upcoming games to avoid falling too far behind in the division. The Titans problems on defense were pretty evident last Sunday: they couldn't stop the run or the pass. That's a bit of an issue. As awful as the run defense looked, the bigger concern to me is the pass defense. The Titans play Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford and Matt Schaub in the next three games and each have a lot of weapons at their disposal. If Jerry Gray's defense can't hold up better against the passing game, the scores are going to get ugly quick.
There are two main ways to shut down the passing game: you can excel at getting to the quarterback or covering receivers. Unfortunately for the Titans, they can only consider the latter option. The Titans pass rush is weak and it isn't going to miraculously improve in the span of a week or two. The good news for fans is that the team does have a young, improving secondary and they'll have to step up this week.
Personally I don't feel like the Chargers have any great receivers. I save that title for the Calvin Johnsons and Larry Fitzgeralds of the league. San Diego's still blessed with both quantity and quality at the position though.
I think Philip Rivers' primary target is Malcolm Floyd (even if the Chargers.com depth chart shows otherwise). He's a big target that's developed good chemistry with Rivers the past few seasons. On the opposite side is free agent acquisition Robert Meachem, who in his first game as a Bolt notched 2 catches for 49 yards. Yet another big receiver with the speed to burn you deep. Finally we have Eddie Royal as the slot receiver, a shifty and nifty guy that can rack up the yards-after-catch.
I'd consider that a pretty darn good receiving corps, but it doesn't end there. Antonio Gates is back to full health and it just so happens the Titans haven't been very good at covering tight ends.
It should come as no surprise that Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner and Ryan Mouton (and perhaps Tommie Campbell) are going to have to really stick on the receivers. Will they be up to the challenge? I think so. Sure they had some struggles against the Patriots offense but I won't place the Chargers offensive weapons at the same level as New England's. In this battle I'm taking the Titans secondary.