San Diego has outscored its two opponents 60-24. While the Chargers' two victories have come against the Raiders and the Titans, who aren't exactly world-beaters, San Diego has looked very impressive on both sides of the ball.
The Falcons have outscored their two opponents 67-45, and their win over the Broncos last Monday night was a bit of a coming out party for Atlanta.
However, that game also means that this team now has to travel across the country on a short week, and that is never an easy task.
Where: Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California
When: Sunday, September 23 at 4:05 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Listen: NFL Audio Pass
Betting Line: Chargers -3 according to Bet Online on Sept. 19
At the time of publication, the official injury report was not available.
Check out NFL.com for the report, as it should become available sometime Wednesday afternoon, and it will update as the week goes on.
Fantasy Start 'Em, Sit' Em and Sleeper
Start 'Em: Philip Rivers, QB
Philip Rivers is rebounding nicely from a poor, by his lofty standards, 2011 season.
Through two games, he has 515 passing yards and four touchdowns, and the Chargers have not been in a position where they've had to throw often as they've blazed out to a 2-0 start.
Atlanta's pass D ranks better than its run D, but they have still allowed 230 passing yards per game and surrendered three TD passes.
Sit 'Em: Michael Turner, RB
As ESPN's Adam Schefter points out, Michael Turner is not expected to be suspended due to his recent arrest for DUI.
Not that that is the only concern for Turner. He hasn't looked particularly strong in the early going. He has rushed for just 2.6 yards per carry while gaining 74 yards this season with one touchdown.
The Falcons offense is clearly shying away from Turner, and he is going against a Chargers defense that is No. 1 in the NFL by allowing just 41.5 rushing yards per game.
Unless you are hurting for a flex option, leave Turner on the bench this week.
Sleeper: Ryan Mathews, RB
A back of Ryan Mathews' caliber wouldn't typically qualify as a sleeper, but given that he has missed the first two games of the season after injuring his clavicle on the his first carry of the preseason, he qualifies.
U-T San Diego's Michael Gehlken passed along this update.
Ryan Mathews: "I feel great, I feel healthy and strong." Team says he was a full participant. Expected to practice in pads full Thursday.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) September 19, 2012
You will definitely want to monitor Mathews' game status as the week rolls along, but I'd be surprised if he does not play. And he will produce against a Falcon' defense that has allowed 125 rushing yards a game.
Falcons Player To Watch: Matt Ryan, QB
Matt Ryan has teetered on the cusp of elite status for a while now. That teetering is coming to an end.
The five-year pro is off to a great start, and showing no signs of slowing down.
He will carry a QB rating of 117.6 into this game as he has thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions while connecting on just over 70 percent of his passes.
Ryan has a ton of weapons and those weapons have an elite QB getting them the ball.
Chargers Player To Watch: Philip Rivers, QB
We already talked about Rivers in the fantasy section, but he deserves mention again.
Rivers, with his funky throwing motion, is a blast to watch. He likes to take deep shots as often as possible, and those throws are usually dropped on a dime.
Rivers does not enjoy as flashy weapons as Ryan, but he doesn't need them. He makes his receivers better.
Key Matchup: San Diego's Pass Defense vs. Atlanta's Pass Offense
Atlanta's passing offense is going full throttle this season, and given San Diego's success against the run and Michael Turner's struggles to run, the Falcons' pass game should be even more prominent in this one.
San Diego comes into this game having allowed a respectable 225 passing yards per game, but the passing attacks of the Raiders and the Titans (the Chargers' two opponents) is nothing compared to what the Falcons bring.
On the Hot Seat: Michael Turner
Michael Turner will enter this game on the heels of his DUI arrest and struggles in the first two games.
He will be right in the public spotlight here, given his legal struggles, and if his performance does not improve, he could find himself out of a starting job as well.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Falcons 24
This is going to be a high-quality game that is destined to go down to the wire. I've been thoroughly impressed with the Chargers defense this season, and while they are clearly facing their stiffest challenge yet, I expect them to put up just enough resistance for their offense to carry them to victory.
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