Finally the NFL regular season is ready to kick off tonight with the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts taking on the New Orleans Saints. Stampede Blue tends to think that this game is a better game than the Bears/Chargers tilt, because you win with QBs and coaches and Chicago has no QB. I tend to think you win with coaching, a defense and perhaps a left tackle and if BigBlue wants to argue that I respond with tell me how many playoff games would the Colts have won last year if their defense wasn't getting jacked up on peyote and Rodney Harrison juice? Those boys was pumped. Unfortunately their entire defense left for greener pastures and by greener I mean money. Their D now is Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney and Sanders is about as reliable as Mike Brown, but on to the game we are here to talk about.
The defending NFC Champions start their season by traveling west to the land of temperate weather and one hopped up monster linebacker. San Diego. And guess what? Here is little old me without a Chargers blog to do 5 Questions with or to send Chad over to do a little smack talking, but I will not let that ruin my weekend. So, pull out your favorite jersey and let's get ready for some football.
Time: 3:15 CST
The key to beating the San Diego Chargers is so ridiculously simple it almost boggles the mind. Of course doing that isn't as easy as it sounds. That key of course is contain LaDanian Tomlinson. Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates are nice players, but if LT gets loose it will be a long day. The last time the Bears and Chargers met LT was held to 60 yards, so it can be done. We all know the speed we have back there at linebacker and with our new and improved run stuffing secondary of Mike Brown and Adam Archuleta they are poised for a repeat performance.
What to watch for:
Grossman, Grossman, Grossman. I am so tired of talking about our QB, but to do a honest breakdown I have to. Grossman has the mind set and personality to be a great QB, but at some point he has to stop shaking off the mistakes and just stop making them. He has been drilled all of season and run against extra men on the dline, now just play. Stay off the F'n back foot!
Next, we are all raring to see this D play with Tommie Harris in the line up. The Bears did not play him at all the first three preseason games, but demand that it was just being careful. If Harris can be the same guy he was in the first half of the season, this D will be stifling.
Can you please take the cover off of Devin Hester and let us see what this guy can do? I know we didn't want to show anything in a game that didn't mean anything, but if you don't run at least one reverse his direction we might riot.
It is time for Cedric Benson to put up or shut up. Benson has been a constant bickerer while Thomas Jones was our back. Now Jones is gone and it is time for Benson to show that he is what we paid him to be...a featured back. All those 2,3,4 yard rushes are nice, but he needs to show more.
That said the Chargers are nothing to laugh at. If you put all your time into stopping LT, they can beat you through the air. Our base D must stop LT. If we have to put more guys on him or have Urlacher track him the entire game, it opens up holes that we don't want open. Rivers is not a fantastic QB, but he can be accurate and if Gates sees some daylight Rivers can and will find him.
As much as I rag on him, Shawn Merriman and Shaun Phillips do make a imposing linebacker corp.
There it is boys. It is time to stop all the talking, speculating, ranking, analyzing and guessing and let all these teams figure out who is the best on the field.