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Chargers at Vikings, Open Thread

San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Minneapolis, Minnesota

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th+OT F
Chargers 7 7 0 3 17
Vikings 7 0 14 14 35
San Diego Stat Minnesota
123.4 ypg (12th) Rush Offense 155.3 ypg (2nd)
197.1 ypg (22nd) Pass Offense 151.7 ypg (30th)
320.6 ypg (19th) Total Offense 307 ypg (23rd)
24.6 ppg (8th) Scoring Offense 18.7 ppg (20th)
88.9 ypg (7th) Rush Defense 74.4 ypg (3rd)
241.4 ypg (27th) Pass Defense 288.3 ypg (32nd)
330.3 ypg (18th) Total Defense 362.7 ypg (27th)
18.4 ppg (12th) Scoring Defense 19.6 ppg (14th)

Well, if there isn't a Chargers' site on SBNation for me to take the team colors off of, we WILL use the powder blue, damn it!

Don't let the Chargers' statistical numbers fool you. . .they've been playing significantly better over the past month of the season, having rebounded from a 1-3 start to put up three very convincing victories over Denver (41-3), Oakland (28-14), and Houston (35-10).  The Chargers look now like the kind of team that everyone expected them to be from the beginning of the season.

The Chargers are very talented on offense, and even more so after the bye-week acquisition of WR Chris Chambers from the Miami Dolphins.  Paired with youngster Vincent Jackson, the Chargers now have a big, talented receiving duo. . .bad news for a Vikings secondary that might not have the services of Antoine Winfield this afternoon.  Of course, you can't forget about Antonio Gates, who is the best tight end in the National Football League by a significant margin (in my opinion).  Oh, and they can run the football too.  They have this running back. . .name escapes me at the moment. . .Thompson. . .Timlinson. . .Tomlinson!  That's it. . .LaDanian Tomlinson.  You've probably heard of him. . .set the single-season TD record in 2006, probably the best running back in the league today, on his way to being one of the all-time greats.  Yeah, that guy.

San Diego is also very dangerous defensively.  Their secondary is a bit suspect, but their front seven is extremely talented, led by LB/DE/Roid Monster Shawne Merriman and huge DT Jamal Williams.  Even if the San Diego secondary is suspect, with the Vikings' complete ineptitude in the passing game, I'm not really sure that it will make much difference.

I'm hesitant to predict a Chargers' blowout, if only because the Vikings don't get blown out very often, but don't be terribly surprised if today's final score is a little worse than what I'm predicting.

Gonzo's Final Score Prediction:  Chargers 23, Vikings 13

My picks for this week will be in the comments section.  Hopefully we can at least get a competitive game out of today's contest.  I hate being on the wrong end of an ass kicking.