Playoff Forecast: How Rain Will Affect Chargers, Titans
In recent history, LaDainian Tomlinson hasn't done well in the rain. His cutback ability is neutralized by the slippery surface.
If LT doesn’t do well, the Chargers don’t do well, so the Titans have a shot.
I still believe that rain was one of the main reasons the Jets were able to stay in the game against the Chargers in the playoffs a few years ago.
If the Chargers are going to win this weekend, their offensive line needs to find a way to stop Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth. LT will be limited to straight-ahead running in the rain, so he'll need more help than he usually does.
I’ll have to leave it to coach Norv Turner to figure out what to do, because Cam Cameron never could.
Michael Turner the Burner runs flat-footed, breaks a lot of tackles, and has breakaway speed. In the immortal words of Deacon Jones, he’s the “perfect mudder.”
The Chargers probably won't use him, but they should. If the run gets stuffed, the Titans have a real chance at pulling off the upset.
If Vince Young plays, he may be able to take advantage of the slippery field. Young usually runs straight run ahead without cutting back—and once he gets those long legs moving, it’s a disaster for the defense.
VY directs traffic, sets up blockers, and makes guys miss. The San Diego defense has to be as disciplined this weekend as they were in the teams' first meeting when it comes to staying in their lanes and not letting Young out of the pocket.
Like Young, Philip Rivers plays his best football when he's charged up. The pressure of a do-or-die situation doesn't get to him.
The way he battled back against the Titans earlier this year was a classic example. The 38-yard TD pass he threw against the Seattle Seahawks (in the rain) to win a game last season with 38 seconds left was another.
That said, Rivers threw 10 straight horrific incompletions to start that Seattle game in the rain, and started out just as badly against the Titans a few games ago. The Chargers had better hope for better things on Sunday.
Rivers will probably play a lot better, because the Chargers tend to play well at home. With a playoff game already under his belt, I trust the youngster to shake it off and have a much better game against the Titans this time around, even in the rain.
After all, he followed up those 10 incompletions with an early touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson.
In any event, the rain is going to make things very interesting for the Chargers—but that’s football. It always rains in Southern California this time of the year, so the Bolts had better be ready for it.
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