San Diego Chargers: 5 Key matchups for week 2
By Nick Mansoor
The San Diego Chargers are now back home this weekend after a brutal loss to the Chiefs in overtime last weekend. This weeks task will not be a walk in the park either, as we face the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Q. Here are my 5 Key matchups to look out for in Week 2:
- Tyrell Williams vs. Jaguars Secondary
After seeing Keenan Allen suffer a season-ending torn ACL injury last week against the Chiefs, the team looked completely lost on offense and could not get the ball moving as well. Since then, the Chargers had a whole week to find someone to help our depth. Nobody has been signed. This tells me that the Chargers are confident in the wide receiver corps heading into this week’s matchup. What I’m looking for is Tyrell Williams’ matchup, and also, where will he be placed on offense? He has worked on the outside during camp and practices, and he looks comfortable their. However, Dontrelle Inman is listed as the man behind Keenan. So it will be interesting to see where he is placed. And make no mistake, the Jaguars secondary is pretty tough. So wherever Tyrell is placed, I’m sure he’s going to have a pretty even matchup.
2. Phillip Rivers vs. Jaguars Defense
The Jaguars defense is completely different from the one we played last year. One huge point I will be focusing on is none other than Jalen Ramsey. Everyone is saying we made a bad pick and we should have gone with Jalen. Quite honestly, it’s too soon to tell. But Jalen will have my eye for sure. This Jaguars defense held Aaron Rodgers to under 200 yards last week. Wow. Was Rodgers just having a bad day? We’re not entirely sure yet, but the Jags are facing another elite quarterback. Philip Rivers has a much quicker release than Rodgers, so we should see some different outcomes. Keep an eye on Rivers and how the Jags defense reacts.
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3. Melvin Gordon vs. Playing Time
Why bench the hot hand? I still don’t get it. Melvin was having a breakout game and he was benched for almost the entire second half of the game to Danny Woodhead. He didn’t fumble or anything this time. But at one point in the game, I think Woody was averaging about 8 yards a carry and kept that consistent as well, so I can see why they were feeding him the ball. But at the same time, Melvin was doing so well! Keep an eye out for Flash Gordon, the coaching staff needs to fix this ordeal and don’t forget, Andre Williams is going to be in the mix as well once he’s plugged into the lineup.
4. Travis Benjamin vs. Jags Special Teams
We signed Travis to be our deep threat in the passing attack for our offense, but he is also a huge special teams threat as well. He was averaging about 11 yards per return last season and our Chargers ranked last in punt returning. Last week, Travis averaged four yards per return and a long for 7 yards. We need him to pick up at returning so we can give Rivers better field position, or hell, a score on special teams would be a sight for sore eyes.
5. Kyle Emanuel vs. Jeremiah Attouchu
Kyle Emanuel is the listed starter at OLB opposite of Melvin Ingram. I still think the coaches have this wrong. Jeremiah should be starting, he had a solid season in 2015! Plus he was able to grab us a sack on a limited snap count. He and Kyle finished with very similar numbers, but Jeremiah was able to get to the QB at least. Watch these guys, this will be an interesting battle to watch now going forward as the season progresses. Could one of these two guys eventually replace Ingram? That’s a huge thought, and I like Melvin.
Like I said, this Jaguars team is very different from last year. They are younger, faster, tougher, and better coached in my opinion. They will definitely keep Rivers on his heels all day, but the crowd at the Q should help us that much more. I put this matchup down as a win regardless, moving us up to 1-1 in the AFC West. Kickoff is at 1:25 p.m. PST, and remember BOLT UP!