The Falcons are off to a red hot start, but will face a big challenge as they travel to San Diego to face the Chargers. San Diego is off to an equally impressive start and are also one of six teams to start the year 2-0. What could be make things even more tough is that feature back Ryan Mathews will be making his 2012 debut most likely. San Diego has won their first two games basically without a running game. Philip Rivers is impressive, but imagine how good this offense can be with an actual running game.
Mathews broke out of the scene last year with his first big season. Splitting carries with Mike Tolbert, Mathews still managed nearly 1100 yards. After sitting out the first two weeks with a broken collarbone, Mathews is ready to take the reigns as the lead back, and with Tolbert out of the picture he should see plenty of action. Atlanta has struggled to stop the run already, so Mathews could be in for a large role right out of the gate.
Vincent Jackson is now in the NFC South with Tampa, but the receiving core is still strong. Malcolm Floyd is now the number one target and former Saint Robert Meachem joins the starting ranks. Of course Antonio Gates is still around which makes for a huge red zone target.
The offense will need to keep up with Rivers to win this one. They were able to do so against Peyton Manning, and I don’t doubt that they can do it San Diego. Playing in the West Coast is also another factor that should be mentioned, but I think that is used as an excuse more often than an actual factor. I think the running game needs to be altered for this offense to work more efficiently. I would like to see Rodgers and even Snelling to get more looks while Turner is used more sparingly. They may be forced to abandon the running game all together if they fall behind quickly, but I expect a shootout either way.