TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: LP Field
Weather: Low 61, High 79
Line: Tennessee (-3)
Not much was expected from the San Diego Chargers heading into the 2013 season. Philip Rivers has exceeded expectation thus far, passing for 614 yards and seven touchdowns, connecting with Eddie Royal 10 times to lead the Chargers to a 1-1 record. Royal has exploded onto the scene, catching those 10 passes for 114 yards and five touchdowns. He seems to be Rivers’ favorite target when he gets close to the goal line. While Royal may have seen the end zone more than anyone else on the team, tight end Antonio Gates has been Rivers’ favorite weapon overall. Gates also has 10 catches, but he has 173 yards on the season — seeing somewhat of a resurgence this season. The run game ranks sixth in the league behind Ryan Matthews‘ 29 carries for 106 yards.
The Tennessee Titans were in the same boat as the Chargers entering the season. Nobody expected them to do much, but a 1-1 start has surprised some people, especially since they could easily be 2-0, but lost a close game in overtime to the Houston Texans. Chris Johnson leads the ninth best rushing offense with 166 yards on 50 carries, but only a little over three yards per carry. Although the run game has been fairly successful, Jake Locker has this team as the worst passing attack in the NFL. Averaging just 123 passing yards per game, Locker has passed for less than 300 yards and two touchdowns this season. He will need to improve soon or a change will need to be made.
Defensively, the Titans are a fairly average squad. They are a middle-of-the-pack unit that gives up an average of 323 yards per game while giving up just 19.5 points per game. The rushing defense is ranked 20th in the league, opening the door for Matthews to possible have a breakout game. On the other side of things, the Chargers have one of the worst defenses in football. In fact, they are ranked last in the AFC in yards allowed per game.
PREDICTION: Chargers 28, Titans 17