Before each game I will be covering three players who need to perform well to help the Chargers come out on top. This week the Chargers face the Minnesota Vikings.
Since this is still preseason, the players on this list aren’t necessarily factors that will contribute to a win. These are players fighting for a roster spot or guys with something to prove.
However, Week 3 is usually deemed the most important preseason game. Teams can play their starters while giving them somewhat of a week off during Game 4. So unlike former weeks, I will be focusing less on the players fighting for a depth position and more on impact players. With that said, here are my three players who must play big vs. Vikings.
WR Tyrell Williams
I am incredibly excited to see Tyrell Williams take the field with Philip Rivers throwing him the ball. Williams has been the story of the summer (not including players who haven’t showed up to camp). Williams has all the attributes to be a great wide receiver. This will be the first chance to see if all that skill can translate into yards and touchdowns.
RB Melvin Gordon
Last year, the Chargers faced the Vikings, but let’s just say the Chargers got creamed. You could place blame on many factors, but certainly one of them was the Chargers inability to run the ball. Melvin Gordon will have a chance this weekend to show drastic improvement since facing the Vikings last. Gordon, who trained with Vikings RB Adrian Peterson in the offseason, has shown steady growth these last few preseason games, and hopefully the climb can continue.
OLB Jeremiah Attaochu OLB
I am once again placing Jeremiah Attaochu on this list. There is a serious battle going on between
Oct 18, 2015; Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Attaochu and Kyle Emanuel for a starting OLB position. While Emanuel has everything to gain by battling for the position, Attaochu has everything to lose. Attaochu is a young player whose hype was increasing ever more last year. Losing a starting position is one way to bring any hype train to a screeching halt. Having a solid performance will be a way to start winning back those starting snaps.
ILB Jatavis Brown
Similar to Williams, Jatavis Brown has been the offseason golden boy. Unlike Williams though, Brown has been struggling with non-serious injuries and hasn’t seen the field yet in a preseason game. This will be our first chance to see what he can do during a game. Brown is a speedy player with coverage ability unmatched by any other Chargers linebacker. If his performance is anything close to where his hype has been since the Chargers drafted him, the eventual injury that sidelines Manti Te’o will be much more bearable.
QB Mike Bercovici
Last week against the Cardinals, I listed Zach Mettenberger as one of my three players to watch. He didn’t even see the field–oops. Instead, it was all Kellen Clemens and Mike Bercovici, and simply put, Bercovici looked like the better quarterback. I believe the Chargers are very devoted to Clemens, but if Bercovici can keep outperforming him, the team will have to consider switching who is their QB2.