LaDainian Tomlinson celebrates after scoring his first touchdown of the game against the Oakland Raiders back in September 2008.
The San Diego Chargers visit the AFC West rival Oakland Raiders Monday night to close out kickoff weekend. The 619Sports.net guys Chris Ello and Craig Elsten got together with Chargers' play-by-play voice Josh Lewin to preview the storylines and some burning questions for the first game of 2009.
Everyone's focus will obviously be on the return of LaDainian Tomlinson, but attention will also be given to Shawne Merriman, in light of his recent scandal and also his knee injury . How many snaps can he play and how effective will he be?
Lewin tackles these and other burning questions...
"It's tough to get that Raiders vs. New Orleans preseason game out of your head, it was just so lopsided and the Raiders looked so bad. You can't help but wonder that if you can get Sproles in space, get LT in space, get Legedu Naanee in space, its just you know, they couldn't stop anybody. So screen passes and rolled delayed screens and stuff out of the backfield, I think you've just got a chance to really have some fun," Lewin said.
"Either way, I don't see how they don't score a bunch of points so that's one thing to look forward to but to also get some sacks and some picks would be a high quality thing to talk about as well because last year right up until the end those things were in short supply, " he said.
"There's the Tila Tequila stuff which is just nonsense and you just wish it would go away. But all that withstanding, we didn't see Shawne Merriman blast anybody in preseason. All reports are that he's ok but we all want to see him be better than ok, we want to see him sack a quarterback maybe 17 to 18 times this year, " he said.
"JaMarcus Russell is a prime candidate to go down and go down hard and if you can't get this guy that's going to be an issue going forward. So, one of two sacks and a couple of hurries, just getting his hands in there on Russell will make a lot of people feel better," said Lewin.
Listen to the rest of the discussion on 619Sports.Net: Chargers vs. Raiders: What to Watch For