In a testament to the NFL's parity, this week we have six teams at 2-0, six teams at 0-2, and the remaining twenty at 1-1. This week the Falcons get a rare matchup of unbeatens when they head to San Diego to face the Chargers. This morning we're looking at three things to keep an eye on this week.
1. A tale of two quarterbacks
It's eerie just how close Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers are this year. The San Diego QB may have an interception, but both are completing over 70% of their passes, have thrown for just over 500 yards, and are finding their receivers well. The main difference is how much Rivers is leaning on #1 receive Malcolm Floyd right now, who has far and away the most yards for the Chargers with 175 yards. Rivers has thrown the ball to ten different receivers, while Matt Ryan has been comfortable to lean on his big three: Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez.
2. No threat from the run
When the Chargers lost Ryan Matthews in pre-season, there was a concern the Chargers wouldn't be able to run the ball, and those concerns have been fully realized. San Diego's running backs are averaging just 3.5 yards per carry, and with the exception of Jackie Battle on the goal line, they have no consistent running option. This makes Rivers' season all the more impressive, as he's excelled without a reliable RB.
3. Contending with the 3-4
In week one the Falcons dismantled a Kansas City 3-4 with ease, but this San Diego defense is a lot more talented, and have better rush linebackers to pull it off. There are two key players Matt Ryan will need to watch for: OLB Shaun Phillips who has 2.5 sacks, and Eric Weddle– the pro bowl FS who lurks in the middle. If Ryan can account for these two aspects it takes the teeth of SD's 3-4, and will allow the receivers to get free release.