San Diego Chargers Need a Balanced Attack vs. Houston Texans

By Kenny Gardner
San Diego Chargers
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers will host the Houston Texans tonight at 7:20 p.m. PDT. San Diego is coming off a 2012 season in which they ranked 20th in points per game, 30th in yards per reception and 31st in yards per rushing attempt. The Chargers will need a balanced attack in tonight’s game against Houston.

Houston ranked seventh in fewest yards per pass attempt and ninth in fewest yards per rushing attempt allowed last season. It will mostly be up to Ryan Mathews to establish a run game and take pressure away from San Diego’s offensive line, who will face a Texans defense that ranked fifth in the NFL with 44 sacks last year.

San Diego will be without former St. Louis Rams wide receiver Danario Alexander, who led the team in receiving yards per game last year. It will be up to Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates and Vincent Brown to attack Houston’s secondary. Floyd led San Diego in receptions and receiving yards last season.

Philip Rivers ranks second in the NFL with 47 turnovers over the last two seasons trailing only New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez. San Diego’s coaching staff has talked about shorter passes to limit Rivers’ turnovers and getting rid of the ball faster when he feels the pressure.

Houston ranked ninth in fewest points per game allowed last season.  The Texans will be without 2011 Pro Bowl defensive end Antonio Smith and nine-time Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed. Smith was suspended for tonight’s game and Reed is still dealing with scar tissue in his surgically repaired hip.

San Diego is not at 100 percent on offense. Alexander is out for the season with a torn ACL and Floyd missed most of the preseason with a knee strain.

San Diego’s offensive line will be in for a challenge when 2012 NFL sack leader J.J. Watt takes the field with Houston’s defense. I expect a balanced attack from the Chargers in tonight’s game because they did not do one thing significantly better than the other on offense last season.


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