TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 3: Atlanta Falcons At San Diego Chargers

Falcons
Chargers
Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals
Quarterback
Winner Matt Ryan took a big step up the ladder with a win over the Broncos in Week Two. Not only did he get the best of Peyton Manning, he completed 24-of-36 passes for 219 yards and two touchdown. His late fourth-quarter completion to Julio Jones clinched the game for the Falcons.
Winner Philip Rivers seems determined to put last year’s disappointing season behind him. He has gotten off to a sharp start and he is putting the ball to spots where his receivers can make plays. He gets rid of the ball quickly and decisively.
Offense
Winner The Falcons have explosive players throughout the lineup. Running back Michael Turner finishes his runs well and punishes tacklers. Roddy White knows how to get open and run after the catch. Julio Jones has explosive speed but needs to hold on to the ball a bit better. Tight end Tony Gonzalez is good but no longer a star.
The Chargers have depth at running back. While Ronnie Brown has been disappointing Jackie Battle ran for 69 yards and two touchdowns in Week Two. Malcolm Floyd is a solid wideout who can make big plays and keep drives alive on third-down plays.
Defense
Winner The Falcons were fast and well-prepared in their Monday night victory over Manning and the Broncos. Linebacker Stephen Nicholas is a dependable tackler. Thomas DeCoud had five tackles and an interception against the Broncos.
The Chargers are off to a solid start defensively and they shut down the Tennessee passing attack in Week Two. They will find that much tougher against the Falcons. Safety Eric Weddle is a solid hitter and can also come up with the interception.
Special Teams
Winner The Falcons have confidence that Matt Bryant will hit big field goals when he gets the opportunity. He was 2-of-2 against the Broncos. Jacquizz Rodgers is a big-play threat as a kickoff returner.
Winner The Chargers have a lot of confidence in their special teams. Nate Kaeding has decent leg strength and head coach Norv Turner has confidence in Kaeding’s ability to hit clutch field goals. Punter Mike Scifres averaged 49.2 yards on his four punts against Tennessee.

The Winner Is

Wild Card Playoffs - Atlanta Falcons v New York Giants
Winner Falcons
4 out of 4

Despite the edges, this appears to be a difficult assignment for the Falcons as they most go across the country on a short week to take on a Chargers team that has gotten off to a strong start after a couple of disappointing seasons. This should be an outstanding duel and the home team may just have a slight edge.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during Game Six of the 2015 NBA Finals.
    Tale Of The Tape: Top Pro Athletes In The World Right Now

    In their weekly draft of anything and everything, Starkey and Mueller drafted the top professional athletes in the world right now. However, the sixth man of each team was the worst professional athlete.

  2. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images) (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Top Super Bowl Performers

    Starkey and Mueller drafted their own teams of the top Super Bowl performers with the sixth pick being the worst performer.

  3. Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Peyton Manning (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Super Bowl 50 Tale: Panthers Have Edge Over Broncos

    It will be a shock if Cam Newton is not handed the NFL’s MVP award the night before the Super Bowl. He is a game-changing superstar who is still ascending.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Bringing You The Best in Sports Talk Radio
New Podcast Network

Listen Live