Chargers at Titans Matchups To Watch

The 1-1- San Diego Chargers travel to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans (also 1-1) after starting the season off on a high note. Phillip Rivers has thrown for 614 yards and 7 touchdowns. More importantly, he has only thrown 1 interception and has generally made very good decisions. By contrast, Jake Locker has thrown for 273 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has not turned the ball over however.

Malcolm Floyd isn’t expected to play Sunday following a nasty collision with Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans.  Good news for the Titans who are still left to cover Antonio Gates and Eddie Royal. Royal leads the Chargers in touchdowns with 5 on the year, while Gates leads them in receiving yards with 173 and is tied with Royal and Danny Woodhead in receptions with 10. He also leads the Chargers in targets with 15. Gates has 4 career touchdowns against the Titans.

Royal will face a secondary that has played surprisingly well this year. Cornerbacks Jason McCourty and Alteraaun Verner have combined for 15 tackles with McCourty having a tackle for a loss and Verner 2 interceptions. Safety Bernard Pollard is second on the team with 15 tackles, 13 solo and one interception. Gates will face a linebacker corp that is headlined by two excellent outside linebackers in Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown.

Former Titans Jarius Wynn is tied with Jarrett Johnson with one sack for the Chargers. He will face off against right tackle David Stewart who has been somewhat limited this season after going on injured reserve last year with a broken leg. The Titans offensive line has struggled thus far in pass protection but has been fairly good in the run game. Right guard Chance Warmack has been generally good in the run game but still struggles in pass protection.

Chris Johnson has rushed for 166 yards on 50 carries and has no rushing touchdowns. The Chargers have not given up a rushing touchdown to a running back though they did give one up to Michael Vick on a 2 yard run. Johnson is averaging 3.3 yards per carry but he has busted out some really nice long runs. He will face a stout middle linebacker in Donald Butler who is second on the team in tackles with 15 tackles, 11 of them solo. Free safety Eric Weddle also has 15 tackles, 13 of them solo.

One final note and that is the Chargers have really owned the Titans, particularly at home. The Titans have never beaten the Chargers at home since moving to Nashville in 1997. Philip Rivers is 6-0 as a starter against Tennessee. In his six games against the Titans, he’s completed 68.5 percent of his passes (137 of 200) for 1,608 yards with 11 touchdowns to just five interceptions for a 100.6 rating. The Chargers have 9 straight wins against the Oilers/Titans as a franchise.

The Titans win a close game at home against the Chargers, finally getting that monkey off their back. The offensive star of the game is tight end Delanie Walker who catches 4 passes for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Chargers have given up 3 touchdowns to tight ends on the year.

Final prediction:

Chargers 17 Titans 24

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