(Atlanta): WR Julio Jones - He is a nightmare matchup for any cornerback. He is starting to evolve as quarterback Matt Ryan's favorite deep threat. In two games so far this season he has caught 10 passes for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. Last week against Denver he did not have huge stats finishing with only 4 catches for 14 yards. He has a tough matchup going against the Chargers starting cornerbacks, but I expect him to be fully utilized in Atlanta's pass offense this week.
(San Diego): QB Phillip Rivers - Last year Rivers had an off year by throwing a high number of interceptions while also having a dip in his overall pass completion percentage. In two games so far in 2012 Rivers is completing over 73 percent of his passes and has thrown only 1 interception. He seems to be back to his usual self and with his full cast of offensive teammates expected to be available this week Rivers should be firing on all cylinders.
WR's Roddy White & Julio Jones (versus) CB's Quentin Jammer & Antoine Cason: The Falcons have gone to a more up tempo pass attack trying to utilize Matt Ryan's arm and their two very talented receivers in White and Jones. They both can hurt you in so many ways whether it be on underneath passes, middle of the field, deep throws, or in the red zone. They are the best receiver combo in the NFL. They will face two San Diego cornerbacks who are equally talented in Jammer and Cason. They have the size, speed, and athleticism to matchup with White and Jones. It should be a competitive battle all game between these athletes.
DE John Abraham (versus) Left Tackle Michael Harris: Abraham has not recorded a sack yet in 2012. He is the Falcons best pure pass rusher. This maybe the week he records multiple sacks going up against the Chargers backup left tackle Michael Harris. Starter Jared Gaither is out with a back injury so Harris will get the task of protecting Phillip Rivers blindside. If the Chargers get behind early and have to rely on the passing game it could be a long day for Harris. Abraham if not blocked could also be disruptive to the Chargers running game.
Final Word: The game features two teams who are very similar offensively. They both in the past wanted to play the control the time of possession game, but now have become more reliant on their passing game. They both have quarterbacks who have been solid and not turned the ball over much. Phillip Rivers is probably the happiest man in San Diego with several key players returning from injury. Running back Ryan Matthews should make his season debut since suffering a broken clavicle and tight end Antonio Gates looks like he has recovered enough from his rib injury to contribute. These two teams enter this game with a 2-0 record and the winner has a chance early in the season to take control of their prospective divisions. Playing against a well balanced team in Atlanta will be the first true test for the Chargers as a team. They beat the Oakland Raiders 22-14 and then dismantle the Tennessee Titans 38-10. San Diego has the 3rd ranked defense overall and will get challenged in both the running and passing game of the Falcons.