If you’re reading this article, you’re most likely a football fan. And if you’re a football fan, you’re probably familiar with the saying a football game might have 11 guys on both sides of the ball, but at its core the game is a series of 1-on-1 battles. If you have more guys win their battle than the other team, you win the play. You win the most plays, you win the game (for the most part. Murphy still has a say every now and then).
So, let’s take a look at three Chargers to watch for on Sunday against the Titans.
- KEENAN ALLEN, WR:
When Malcom Floyd was carted off the field in Philadelphia, Allen was thrown in to a close game. As offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said, the rookie “Answered the bell.” Philip Rivers threw to Allen on two of the next four plays. Keenan made both catches, both for first downs. Floyd will not play in Tennessee, and is likely out for the near future. How fast Allen can integrate himself in to the offense, especially in keeping up with all the changes at the line of scrimmage, will be critical to the Chargers’ offense keeping up its 30 point-per-game pace.
- MARCUS GILCHRIST, S:
Gilchrist knocked a ball away from Jason Avant at the goal line last week, forcing the Eagles to kick a field goal and setting up the Chargers’ game-winning drive. He’s still learning how to play safety, but signs of his progress are encouraging. Gilchrist won’t be needed as much this week in pass coverage as he will in run support. As long as it stays close, and Tennessee doesn’t fall behind to a point they have to throw to get back in to it, Chris Johnson will see the ball 25 to 30 times. With his elusiveness and cutback ability, safeties have to help keep him bottled up.
- MIKE HARRIS, OT:
D.J. Fluker is questionable with a concussion, but with all the attention being paid to head injuries (and the retirement of Kris Dielman still fresh in their minds) I find it hard to believe the Chargers would take a chance letting Fluker play. That puts Harris back in the starting lineup after his tumultuous 2012, when he was ranked as the worst left tackle in the NFL after being thrust unfairly in to a situation he was not prepared for. But, Harris is much more comfortable (and effective) on the right side. If he’s in there, he’ll be asked to block one of the most disruptive defensive lines in the NFL.