Earlier I predicted the Chargers would beat the Falcons. That was a mistake. The Falcons dominated San Diego in their own home to win the battle of unbeatens. I certainly overestimated the Chargers, and even though I hold Atlanta in high regard, I greatly underestimated their talent. I knew their offense was a real force, but their defense if really coming up big. Even without top corner Brent Grimes they are simply outmatching opponents. This time it was Philip Rivers and the Chargers.
The Chargers have a lot of talent on the offensive side of the ball. Philip Rivers is a former pro bowler and has some great weapons in Antonio Gates, Malcolm Floyd, and Ryan Mathews who returned for this game. He led his team to an abysmal 3 points against Atlanta’s defense. Rivers was awful. He had just 173 yards passing, no scores clearly, and 2 interceptions. Mathews played well, but they had to abandon the running game early, falling down 20-0 by halftime. Thomas DeCoud was the star of the defense with 2 more interceptions.
The offense was once again rolling. Matt Ryan is quietly becoming an elite QB in the NFL, and this game cemented that status. He completed 30 of 40 passes to go along with 3 touchdown passes. The weapons he has are exceptional. Even when Julio Jones missed some time with a hand injury he didn’t skip a beat. He is officially red hot right now, and doesn’t look like anyone can completely stop him. Jacquizz Rodgers saw more time with the offense, which is a good sign going forward. Michael Turner started this game, and totaled 80 yards on the ground. Most of those came in the second half, though, with the game mostly out of hand.
Next up for Atlanta is the Panthers. They are sputtering after a blowout loss to New York on Thursday night. They will have some extra rest, but I’m not sure that will help much. Cam Newton played an awful game last week and the Atlanta defense is a the top of their game. Look for another blowout potentially for Atlanta.