San Diego Chargers: 3 Questions Left Unanswered After Week 1
The Chargers performed well enough to earn a win. However, there's no doubt that their road to victory became much easier once Raiders long snapper Jon Condo left the game with a concussion.
Let's take a look at three questions that remain unanswered after Monday night's game.
Can the Chargers Run the Ball Without Ryan Mathews?
Let's not mince words: The Chargers' running game against the Raiders was absolutely terrible.
The Chargers finished the game with a paltry 32 yards on 20 carries.
Curtis Brinkley had 10 carries for 12 yards, and Ronnie Brown ran for five yards on five carries.
Eleven of the Chargers' 32 yards came on a trick play by Eddie Royal.
The Chargers' poor performance on the ground can be attributed in part to the offensive line.
The offensive line failed to get any push at the line of scrimmage against the Raiders' physical defensive line.
Very few holes were opened up in the run game, which means that Brown and Brinkley had nowhere to go.
Ryan Mathews has the quickness to make something out of nothing, but Brown and Brinkley do not.
If Brown and Brinkley do not produce early in the next game, it might be a good idea to let Le'Ron McClain tote the ball more often.
McClain ran for 902 yards and 10 touchdowns with the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 season. He only averaged 3.9 yards per carry, but he wore down defenses with his powerful running style.
Can Mike Harris Stop a Good Pass-Rusher?
Mike Harris performed well on Monday, but he faced a run-stopping defensive end in Matt Shaughnessy.
In the Chargers' next game, the undrafted rookie will go against Kamerion Wimbley of the Tennessee Titans.
Wimbley is not a premiere pass-rusher, but he is much quicker off the edge than Shaughnessy.
Chargers' fans might remember Wimbley from when he sacked Philip Rivers four times as a member of the Raiders in Week 10 of last season.
Harris will have his hands full against the Titans, and he will be one player that all fans must keep an eye on during the entire game.
Can Robert Meachem Be a Consistently Good Starting Wide Receiver?
Robert Meachem was on the receiving end of a perfectly thrown 46-yard pass from Philip Rivers. Meachem did a great job to get open on the play, and he had a legitimate shot to score a touchdown after the catch if he didn't get tripped up.
However, Meachem was only targeted one other time in the game, which resulted in a three-yard catch.
Meachem has the talent to be a good starting wide receiver in the NFL, but he does not appear to have a strong rapport with Rivers.
To be targeted on just two out of 33 pass attempts in a game is a little concerning.
However, some of those targets can be attributed to the game plan of the Chargers. They threw many short, quick passes.
Fourteen of Rivers' 33 pass attempts were thrown at running backs.
It'll be extremely interesting to watch how the relationship between Rivers and Meachem develops throughout the season.
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