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Falcons Vs. Chargers Preview: Injuries, Stats And Favoritism Out West

The Falcons, fresh off their 27-20 win over the Broncos on Monday night, travel out west to face the also 2-0 Chargers.

But in spite of wins over two solid teams, the Falcons enter the game as three-point underdogs. The Chargers, meanwhile, have posted victories over a hapless Raiders team and the Jake Locker-led Titans.

Call me a homer, but something's not right here.

The Falcons, despite being down Brent Grimes and Chris Owens, still managed to intercept Peyton Manning three times in one quarter.

Was Manning having a bad game? Sure. But generally, the Falcons held Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Jacob Tamme in check for most of the game. The only struggles came against Willis McGahee, who ran the ball with ease through all four quarters.

Neither team has run the ball well, however, though the Chargers defense have kept the likes of Chris Johnson and Darren McFadden completely grounded through two weeks. In the wake of his DUI arrest and on-field struggles, Michael Turner should be an absolute non-factor against his former team.

But on the other side, Ryan Mathews and Antonio Gates, arguably Philip Rivers' two most dangerous weapons, come into this game hobbled. They'll also be missing left tackle Jared Gaither. Backup Mike Harris has struggled in replacement, both in pass protection and run-blocking.

This is not a team that can grind the clock down or maintain possession well. Throw in a few turnovers, and this game could easily get out to another great start.

So what does this game come down to? Turnovers. I see a potential shootout taking place here unless the Falcons can confuse Rivers a la Monday night and force him to make mistakes. We've seen him have those games before. On the other side, they'll need to key on Shaun Phillips, who holds 2.5 of the team's 3.0 sacks so far.

Historically, despite what Vegas may imply, this is a matchup that favors Atlanta. The team is 5-0 all time at Qualcomm stadium, and you only have to go back to 2008 to see Michael Turner carry the way to a tough 22-16 road win over Rivers and the gang. A road win is completely within reach.

For more information on the Atlanta Falcons, check out the blog The Falcoholic and SB Nation Atlanta. Go visit Bolts From the Blue for everything on the Chargers. More news and information from the NFL, check out the SB Nation NFL Hub Page.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.