The San Diego Chargers have seven games in 2012 against teams that ranked among the top 10 in pass defense for 2011. San Diego will have a week four AFC West clash on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs as well as a week nine re-match at home. Kansas City ranked sixth against the pass in 2011 surrendering 201 yards per game. San Diego has a week eight match-up on the road against the Cleveland Browns. While Cleveland faced the second fewest pass attempts against them among NFL teams, they were second overall in fewest yards per game allowed with 185 and sixth in fewest yards per attempt.
The Chargers have week 12 and week 13 home games against the AFC North’s Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore only gave up 196 yards per game, led the NFL in fewest TD passes allowed with 11 and they picked off 15 passes. Cincinnati was tied for seventh in fewest yards per attempt, and was ninth in fewest yards allowed with 212. San Diego will be in for a war in week 14 when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road. Pittsburgh is the NFL’s reigning leader in fewest yards per game and fewest yards per pass attempt. The Chargers will travel to New York to face the New York Jets in week 16. New York allowed 201 yards per game and 15 touchdowns while they were able to get 19 interceptions.
Philip Rivers completed 50 of his 79 passes in two games against Kansas City in 2011 for 635 yards, but he had no touchdowns and four interceptions. Rivers was 16-32 against New York with 179 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but he was 17-23 against Baltimore for 270 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Rivers combined for two touchdowns and six interceptions against teams that ranked in the top 10 against the pass in 2011. Although Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati ranked second, eighth and 10th against the run, New York, Kansas City and Cleveland ranked 13th, 26th and 30th against it, so giving Ryan Mathews more carries would be smart.