John Gennaro from Bolts From The Blue kindly answered a couple of questions about the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers Monday Night Football matchup.
The questions are simple: The Chargers biggest strength and biggest weakness.
What is the Chargers biggest strength?
Ever since Philip Rivers has taken the starting QB job, this Chargers team has been comparable to Peyton Manning's Indianapolis Colts team. So, just like they would answer, the Chargers' biggest strength is Philip Rivers. His leadership is a strength, his strong arm is a strength, his accuracy is a strength, his intelligence is a strength and his ability to get better late in close games is a big strength. He carried a team that didn't have much of a defense or running game to speak of last year to 11 straight wins, which puts him up there with Drew Brees and Manning (who both did it for 13 straight).
The strength of this team is that the most important position is filled by the best player.
What is the Chargers biggest weakness?
Run defense. The pass defense is okay, but is very good at not giving up big plays because of Eric Weddle's excellent downfield coverage. In 2009, the Chargers LBs were not very good and they were not getting much help from the defensive line either.
To improve the LB group San Diego drafted Donald Butler, and crossed it's fingers that Shawne Merriman would be healthier in 2010. Butler won't see the field this season as he's been placed on Injured Reserve. Before this week, I think Merriman practiced twice or three times (after a holdout for no real reason) before aggravating an Achilles injury that he's struggled with his entire career. He has been limited in practice this week, and it's probably 50/50 on if he even plays Monday night. So the LB group is essentially the same as last year.
The defensive line is the same as it was in the second half of last season, when it seem to improve from "horrible" to "a little below average". It seems like started a second year with the same team is going to help guys like Travis Johnson and Antonio Garay, who came in late, and the team is hoping that young guys Cam Thomas, Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Vaughn Martin are ready to play at a starter level.
So, with the Chargers biggest weakness being it's run defense.....they essentially decided to cross their fingers and hope things get better this season. With one of the best DL coaches in the league in Don Johnson, it's entirely possible, but we'll see.