Oct 15, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) reacts during the game against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 35-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

Chargers at Buccaneers Preview

The 4-4 San Diego Chargers are headed to Tampa Bay to face the 4-4 Buccaneers in a non-divisional matchup that should have us on the edge of our seats.  The Chargers are kicking off at 10 a.m. local time.  Like the Bolts, I am not a morning person.  But I will be up early on Sunday to make football food and the Chargers will be up early to beat the Buccaneers.  This game is a must win for both teams and Norv Turner.  Turner is on the ropes, and may be gone if the Charges throw out another epic fail.

Both of these teams love to air it out on offense.  Look for Vincent Jackson to be showing AJ Smith what he let go.  If Jackson has a good game it will shine the spotlight on how Smith needs to be walked out the door with Turner.  That said, the offensive comparison on these two teams is close.  They have both been putting up good numbers the Bucs have a slight advantage on yards per game and points where the Bolts have an advantage on third down conversions and time of possession.  This should be a wild west shootout with lots of big passes and scoring.  Novak may only be seen for extra points.

On defense the Bucs have allowed almost 100 more  yards passing per game.  This is good news for the Bolts wide receivers and tight ends.  Look for Tutu, Gates and crew to be putting up big numbers.  The Chargers defense is holding on to 10 total interceptions, where the Bucs have 13.   I predict at least one pick six in this game, if not more.  Both of these defenses have what it takes to make the game exciting.  The Bucs have the edge on the all important turnover ratio where the Bucs are +9 and the Chargers are even at 0. (By comparison, the Bronco’s are at -4)

I wish I could compare special teams, but with Goody out and things getting flip flopped every week I cannot predict who will be returning the ball.  I can tell you that on the return the Bucs should just kneel in the end zone.  Bolts special teams have been fast and efficient on the ball.

The Chargers are only one game behind the Bronco’s where the Buccaneers are four games behind the Falcons.  The Chargers need to catch-up in the AFC West. Being a whole game behind Denver does not seem like a lot.  But the Chargers must play three teams with winning records, starting Sunday at Tampa Bay, then away again at Denver and then back home to face Baltimore.  They also head to Pittsburgh on December 9th, where they haven’s won since the 1994 AFC championship game.  The Broncos schedule is a downhill roll for the rest of the season, they only face one team with a winning record.

So, not only do the Bolts have to win but they need the Bronco’s to lose as well.

On Twitter: #SDvsTB

ChargerGirl Cindi

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