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Saturday Pre-Game Notes: Tackling The San Diego Chargers

I'm not going to beat around the bush here. This game is going to be a challenge for the Atlanta Falcons.

Teams with an array of offensive weapons and an opportunistic defense don't come along every day, and the Chargers boast both in spades. While they've rarely dominated, they're perfectly of taking any team in the NFL to the limit on a given Saturday/Sunday, making them a force to be reckoned with. With a host of guys who are continuing their Odyessian quest for roster spots, a challenge is just what the Falcons could use right now.

Personally, I'll be keeping a close eye on the rookies and those borderline cases, such as John Parker Wilson and Vance Walker, who need to prove themselves against another team's starters or immediate backups. I'll also be looking for the starting offense to completely dominate and the defense to bounce back a little from a game where the St. Louis Rams third-and-fourth string quarterbacks played them like a fiddle. You know, if they feel like it.

Without further ado, let's check out all things newsworthy leading up to this evening's game.

  • Remember those fancy new scoreboards we were talking about earlier this season? They're set to make their pre-season debut at the Dome, which I understand some of you will get to see first-hand. Let us know how they are. 
  • Hyper competitive to the last, Curtis Lofton considered coming off the field on third-downs last year a "slap in the face." Lofton, who wants to be on the field every down this year and is primed for a monster season, seems to be one of the better self-motivators in the league. The last time he went to Denny's, he said the waitress forgetting to include bacon on his plate was a "real sign of disrespect."
  • According to the AJC, the Chargers will see a heavy dose of Matt Ryan and Chris Redman this weekend, a dose so heavy that either D.J. Shockley or John Parker Wilson won't play. My money is on JPW getting into this game and then both getting one last shot against Baltimore, but I may just be talking out of my rear end as usual. The way Shockley has played this year, it would be surprising if they didn't give JPW a closer look.
  • The same story reminds us that William "C4" Moore is back in action. He's got almost zero shot of locking up a starting job at this point, but a strong performance here could go a long way toward fast-tracking him and getting him some quality playing time this fall. Cross your fingers for one of my favorite rookies.
  • We may not see LaDanian Tomlinson today, according to Yahoo! Sports. I'm interested to see what mighty mite Darren Sproles can do (or not do, hopefully), so this is more of an interesting tidbit than anything else.