San Diego Chargers: 5 Ways the Bolts Will Blow out the Minnesota Vikings
There are so many ways in which the opener for the San Diego Chargers and the Minnesota Vikings could go. Based on the nine-point spread the Chargers are giving at home, most people are thinking the Bolts and the NFL’s leading offense from 2010 will defeat the Vikings at Qualcomm Stadium.
But realistically, you overlook the Minnesota rushing attack at your own peril. With a player like Adrian Peterson carrying the ball, the Vikings will always have a shot at winning football games in the NFL.
This game is going to be closer than the spread indicates.
But what if the bookmakers are right?
If the Chargers are expected to blow out the Vikings, how exactly will they do it?
Have no fear, for here is a list of the top five scenarios that, if played out, will have the Chargers leaving the Vikings in their dust.
Forget Randy, It’s the Vincent Jackson Show
Vincent Jackson turns in a stellar performance, gravitating towards the ball and soaring to astronomical heights to snag catch after catch over the Minnesota cornerbacks.
Jackson's size and leaping ability make the Purple People Eaters of the Vikings secondary look more like little blue Smurfs.
It doesn’t matter who head coach Leslie Frazier assigns to defend him or how many times he is double-covered, Jackson skies over them all and grabs 14 receptions for 246 yards and three touchdowns.
The Vikings have no answer to the jolly blue-and-gold giant, and the Chargers go on to blow out the Vikings, 34-17.
After the game, Chargers general manager AJ Smith is overheard admitting that he should have signed Jackson to a long-term contract.
Donovan Mcnabb’s Debut Is a Dud
Hoping to make an impression on his new team, Donovan McNabb presses his luck but ends up playing the fool.
After an opening drive by the Chargers that ends with a Nate Kaeding 37-yard field goal, McNabb throws a sideline pass to 5’11” wide receiver Percy Harvin that is picked off by Quentin Jammer and returned 48 yards for a score.
Then, in the third quarter, with the Vikings driving and hoping to take the lead, McNabb is picked off again. This time its Strong Safety Bob Sanders grabbing the second pick-six of the game and returning the errant pass 67 yards untouched to the house.
Late in the fourth, McNabb will get picked off again and the Chargers will run out the clock. The three interceptions on the day seal the victory for the Chargers, who cruise to victory, 27-10.
Ballistic Bolts Blitzkrieg
Resembling a Swiss cultured milk product, the offensive line for the Vikings is confounded by Greg Manusky’s defensive scheme that includes a mix of linebacker and safety blitzes.
A recurring theme for the day, missed assignments lead to six sacks, eight knockdowns and 10 hurries of Donovan McNabb. The constant pressure prevents the Vikings' air attack from ever getting off the ground.
As a result, Minnesota must rely solely on the running game, but that proves too little to keep pace with the high-flying Chargers.
In the end, rookie defensive end Corey Liuget knocks the ball out of McNabb’s hands and knocks McNabb out of the game. The Chargers recover the fumble and score their last touchdown of the day, winning handily, 31-13.
Rivers Plays Like Zeus
Philip Rivers will have an inspired afternoon in the home opener.
Looking more like the Greek God of lightning than a mere football player, he will toss his prophetic charged bolts at will, lighting up the Vikings defense for over 425 yards of offense and four touchdowns.
In a high-scoring game, Rivers will be the spark that ignites the Chargers to an early 17-point lead that turns to 21 by the half and finishes with a 24-point victory, 41-17.
Adrian Peterson’s Play Goes from Field Day to Field Hospital
In a most unfortunate turn of events, Adrian Peterson comes up limping midway through the second quarter after scoring a touchdown and is forced to watch the remainder of the game from the sidelines.
With Tobey Gerhart already nursing an injury, the Vikings are forced to rely on third-string running back Lorenzo Booker.
Needless to say, the Minnesota rushing attack sputters with Booker, who had no carries in 2010.
The Chargers pull ahead and then set the cruise control, coasting to an easy 24-10 victory.
Peterson’s X-rays are negative and he will return for the Vikes' home opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2.