However, in order to have the Chargers not load up the box, they'll have to have some success in the running game.
They should continue to get WR Ashley Lelie involved down field. He'll likely draw CB Drayton Florence.
They should go after CB Jamar Fletcher who moves up to the nickel position this week.
Defensively, they must control the Chargers' running game in order to keep their improved passing game under wraps. The Chargers like to throw the ball off of a good run.
We would expect no.1 CB Champ Bailey to see time covering TE Antonio Gates. If he does cover Gates, they'll need CB Willie Middlebrooks to step up his game because he would see extended snaps.
What the Chargers have to do to win:
Offensively, they'll have to get RB LaDainian Tomlinson some running room and also get him involved on some screen passes if the running game is stagnant.
QB Drew Brees must do a good job of managing the game just like he has done virtually all season.
Even if Bailey covers Gates, that should open things up for their receivers who would have easier matchups.
Defensively, keep QB Jake Plummer in the pocket as much as possible by bring in heat off the edges. Plummer loves to roll out and is most effective out of the pocket.
They'll also need to control RB Reuben Droughns. The Broncos like to run play action off of a good run.
Kansas City at Oakland
What the Chiefs have to do to win:
Offensively, the Raiders don't stop the run well so get both of their backs, Derrick Blaylock and Larry Johnson plenty of work.
A successful running game will help get single coverage for their receivers.
TE Tony Gonzalez matches up well with their secondary so they should get him the ball at least six to seven times today.
Defensively, they have to get pressure on QB Kerry Collins who has been playing very well of late. Collins does not usually play well when he has to throw outside of the pocket.
What the Raiders have to do to win:
Offensively, mix in the running game with backs Amos Zereoue and Justin Fargas who both should have success against the less than stellar Chiefs' front seven.
Collins works well with play action so they should run plenty of those plays. They should also pick on the Chiefs' secondary that could be without both of their starting safeties.
Defensively, they will need to get pressure on QB Trent Green who has sore ribs. One good shot could knock him out of the game.
They'll have to find a way to control Gonzalez. It may take no.1 CB Charles Woodson to cover him to accomplish that.
Green Bay at Philadelphia
What the Packers have to do to win:
Offensively, the Eagles may have looked better against the run the last few weeks but they haven't faced such a dominant offensive line like the Packers. That being said, they should pound the ball on the ground with Ahman Green and Najeh Davenport. Both are banged up but they will have to be effective in order to help get the Eagles to play their receivers straight up. We expect them to use their heavy package with reserve T Kevin Barry as a sixth lineman to help them run the football. They like to use that formation at times through out every game.
Also, get TE Bubba Franks involved inside the red zone area. The Eagles don't cover tight ends well.
Defensively, they have to control QB Donovan McNabb who can make plays with his arm and with his feet.
They'll also have to keep a watchful eye on RB Brian Westbrook who is very dangerous in the passing game. The Eagles have been calling more plays for him out of the backfield the past few weeks now that the rib injury seems to be behind him.
They'll also have to double cover WR Terrell Owens. There is no way CB Al Harris can handle him alone.
What the Eagles have to do to win:
Offensively, they'll likely be without both of their starting guards so it could be very difficult to run inside against mammoth DT Grady Jackson. That being the case, they'll have to call run plays to the outside with Westbrook and they'll also need to get him involved in pass plays where he can get matched up on a linebacker.
Defensively, they'll need to control the running game. If they can do that, they'll be able to have more double coverage on WR Javon Walker.
New York Giants at Washington
What the Giants have to do to win:
Offensively, to take the pressure off of rookie QB Eli Manning, they'll need to get the running game off to a fast start. The Redskins have struggled to stop the run the last few weeks so the Giants will have to make strong commitment to keep it on the ground early and often.
They also have to do a good job in their red zone offense. The Redskins have given up a touch down to the tight end the last two weeks so they should get Jeremy Shockey the ball in that area.
Defensively, with DT Norman Hand out, it's imperative that William Joseph play at a high level or it will be a long day for their defense.
What the Redskins have to do to win:
Offensively, go right after the Giants on the ground since Hand is out. They have to get Clinton Portis the ball at least 25 times in this game in order to win.
Defensively, they have to do a better job of wrapping up on tackles in the running game. That trait has been absent the last few weeks.
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