LA Chargers News

Chargers vs Falcons: In Enemy Territory

By Ernie Padaon

Is Michael Turner on his last legs and is there a capable replacement for him? 

Michael Turner certainly isn’t getting any younger, and his productivity isn’t what it was from 2008-2010. Jason Snelling hasn’t faced a huge workload and he can spell Turner, and the Falcons also have Jacquizz Rodgers who they can use as a third down back. Michael Turner is still expected to be, and will be a productive part of this team, but he doesn’t have much more than a season and a half left.

What is the weakest aspect of the Falcons? 

Pass rush. John Abraham is a fine player, but he’s well over 30. It’s not a great thing when the majority of your pass rush comes from a guy who is in the twilight of his career. Under Mike Nolan, the Falcons have been able to generate more push up front defensively by blitzing and getting the most out of their entire defensive unit, but rushing the quarterback is still a problem.

Who is better, Roddy White or Julio Jones?

Both are outstanding receivers, and I don’t think there is an answer for that at this moment. Jones has a boat load more potential based on his athleticism, size, and strength, but he is still fairly raw running routes and will learn more through increased playing time. White is still quite strong and athletic, but he is an outstanding route runner, and has great chemistry with Ryan. They can just about finish each others thoughts offensively, and if Ryan and Jones ever aren’t on precisely the same page, White is a great outlet to look to.

What has been the key to the Falcons success this year? 

Pass protection. The Falcons faced a Kansas City defense that was missing several components, and they put up a bunch of yards and points, and the pass protection was great. I was severely worried about the pass protection against one of the best pass-rushing duos in the Broncos Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller, but once again the Falcons protected Matt Ryan very well. If they continue this terrific play, the Falcons will be really hard to stop.

What most worries you about the Chargers?

I worry about the Chargers ability to rush the quarterback and defend in the secondary. Not only are Ingram and Phillips really talented up front, but Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason and Eric Weddle are great and disrupting passes and creating turnovers. It’s a dangerous combo, and if the Falcons make errors, this San Diego defense will capitalize on it.