Saturday, September 25, 2010

Seahawks to Get a Dose of Tolbert

With the Chargers wisely sitting rookie Ryan Mathews with a high ankle sprain, we will all get to see how Mike Tolbert performs at running back over the course of a whole game. While he may have the body of a fullback, he's repeatedly flashed a surprising open field speed whenever he gets his hands on the ball. Might the Chargers have their own version of Jerome Bettis on their team? We find out tomorrow. I'm expecting at least one epic collision between the Seahawks' great middle linebacker, Lofa Tatupu and our own "bowling ball," Tolbert. We'll see who, if anyone, wins that battle.

The Seahawks are currently an inferior team to the Chargers at most positions. However, Qwest Field in Seattle is one of the louder places to play and, once again, it's going to be raining. Many of the younger players looked a bit shell shocked in Kansas City in the rain and rabid environment. This game will provide an excellent test to see if some of the newer Chargers can play at a high level on the road in a hostile environment. Can Malcolm Floyd or Legedu Naanee be consistent and make game changing plays when it counts?

On defense, it looks like Stephen Cooper's action may be limited and Larry English is questionable with a foot injury. Brandon Siler will have another chance to show he can step up and have a great game. At outside linebacker, English's absence will mean more playing time for both Shawne Merriman and Antwan Applewhite. We'll see if Merriman continues to make progress back to his old dominant self (as he's promised us). Charger fans that have been paying attention have noticed that Applwhite just seems to make big plays every time he gets a chance. He seems to have a knack for causing fumbles and getting in the backfield. I'm excited to see what he can do this week.

The Seahawks don't have much of a running game, so if San Diego doesn't get stalled again by the rain, Hasselbeck will be playing catch-up and be forced to throw the ball more and more in the second half. This should give San Diego's secondary another chance to get some picks again this week. I'd love to see this group's confidence continue to grow.

The special teams will be tested by the lightning fast rookie, Golden Tate. After the horrible breakdowns in week one against the Chiefs, San Diego didn't really get much of test last week, with only one punt (which was blocked!). The jury is still out on this group.

San Diego really needs to get a win this week to prove they can play at a high level on the road.

Chargers 24, Seahawks 17

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