Behind Enemy Lines: Part III

Chargers expert Mike Lombardo offers his opinions on matchups; how the Chargers will win, or lose; and his prediction for Sunday's game

Offensive match-up to watch: Aaron Kampman vs. Jeromey Clary
Starting right tackle Shane Olivea went down in Week Two with a back injury and it appears second-year pro Clary will start in his stead. Clary will have his hands full in his first career start, squaring off against Pro Bowler Kampman. After pacing the NFC in sacks with 15½ sacks last season, Kampan already has one under his belt and will look to abuse Clary for more.

Although Clary is adept in pass protection, he will need some help in the form of chip blocks from Brandon Manumaleuna and Lorenzo Neal. Things will be easier in the running game, as LaDainian Tomlinson prefers to run left and will lean on that side of the line more than ever. Kampman will get few opportunities to make plays against Clary one-on-one and will have to maximize the chances he gets.

Defensive match-up to watch: Quentin Jammer vs. Donald Driver
Jammer was torched last week by Randy Moss and will need to regain his aggressiveness to keep Driver from doing the same. He will have to challenge Driver at the line and prevent him from getting a clean release, buying the pass rush some extra time to get after Brett Favre. Jammer also needs to take some chances and play the ball and not just the receiver.

Driver will attempt a lot of the same routes that worked for Moss last week, using slants and skinny posts to expose the inability of the Chargers' safeties to provide outside help. Driver will also take a couple of deep shots against Jammer, looking to make a big play or draw a costly penalty. Jammer will have to revert to the form he showed last season to win this match-up.

The Chargers will win if:
Vincent Jackson and Craig Davis play up to their potential. If the Chargers can get some production outside the hashes, it could pull a defender out of the box and open things up over the middle for Antonio Gates. Through two games, Jackson and Davis have yet to combine for 100 yards receiving or a single touchdown. If they can get going, it should snap the team's offensive funk and allow Philip Rivers to build some much needed confidence.

The Chargers will lose if:
The Packers gain more than 100 yards on the ground. The Chargers want to make the Packers one-dimensional and give Shawne Merriman & Co. ample opportunities to pick up sacks and pressure Favre into poor decisions. San Diego may be susceptible up the middle -- ILB Matt Wilhelm will likely miss the game and ILB Stephen Cooper and NT Jamal Williams are both banged up -- but the Bolts must guard against one of the young Packers running backs getting into a groove or picking up big yardage on screen plays.

Final prediction:
The Chargers were humiliated last week and are eager to prove they are better than what they showed in front of a national audience. Meanwhile, the Packers are very content with their somewhat surprising 2-0 record. It says here the Chargers come out firing and hang on to win a close contest.

Chargers 30, Packers 24

Mike Lombardo is Editor-in-Chief of E-mail him at

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