San Diego Chargers Set As Home Favorites Against Dallas Cowboys In Week 2 Of NFL Pre-Season

August 18, 2010- By Jonathan Lowell

The Dallas Cowboys will make their way to the west coast to play the San Diego Chargers in Qualcomm Stadium Saturday night. The Cowboys lost their first pre-season game to the Oakland Raiders due to a bad performance by the second and third teams later in the game. After defeating the Philadelphia Eagles twice in a row last season, the Cowboys were blown out by the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC divisional round. They finished the regular season 11-5 (4-2 in the NFC East).

San Diego was the best team in the AFC West last season, finishing with a 13-2 record (5-1 in the division). Norv Turner led the team to the playoffs in his fourth season as head coach, but failed to get past the New York Jets in the divisional round. The team returns 20 starters, 10 on each side of the ball and will again be a threat to go to the Super Bowl.

The Chargers have been set as 2 1/2 point favorites by 5Dimes sportsbook, the site that has seen the most fluctuation in the line since it was first released on 8/16/10. The line has moved from -1, to -3, and back up to -2.5. The over/under is set at 37 points, but was originally set at 36.5.

Phillip Rivers is expected to be at the helm for the Chargers again in the 2010 NFL season. Rivers looked impressive in the team’s first pre-season game completing 4-6 passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. Jonathan Crompton and Billy Volek will compete for the backup role. Legedu Naanee was the recipient of Rivers’ touchdown pass, and is listed as third on the depth chart according to the 2010 San Diego Chargers season preview. Rookie Ryan Matthews out of Fresno State is hoping to be the opening day starter, while Darren Sproles is expected to spell him and be a strong kick returner. Igor Olshanksy will be filling the running lanes for the Chargers along with Marcus Spears and Jay Ratliff in the 3-4 defense. Behind them will be DeMarcus Ware adding pressure to the quarterback with Keith Brooking dropping back to cover slot receivers and running backs. Mike Jenkins and Terence Newman will be shutting down opposing NFC receiving corps.

In the battle for the backup job in Cowboys camp, Matt Nichols suffered a setback. He threw two interceptions against the Raiders, and had 24 less passing yards than veteran John Kitna. Tony Romo will be the opening day starter barring any type of injury in the pre-season. No Cowboy running back had a rushing touchdown, but Stephen McGee had the most yards with 15. The 2010 Dallas Cowboys season preview has Marion Barber listed as the starter, followed by Felix Jones and Tashard Choice. Miles Austin and Roy Williams will lead the receiving corps, and are teaching rookie Dez Bryant about playing the position in the NFL. Tight end Jason Witten is also one of Romo’s favorite targets. The Chargers got a surprise interception from Paul Oliver, who is trying to make a secondary among the likes of Quentin Jammer and Eric Weddle. Defensive lineman Cam Thomas recorded a sack against the Chicago Bears in an effort to make the depth chart. Linebacker Antwan Applewhite had two sacks in Week 1 after ending last season on reserve.

Nate Kaeding is not reported to be in jeopardy of losing his starting job at place kicker, although Nick Novak hit two out of his three field goals (long of 48). David Buehler will be the starting kicker in 2010 after Nick Folk fell apart on the team last season. He made all three of his kicks against the Raiders.

2010 NFL weather reports predict the high on Saturday to reach 71 degrees, and the low to go no further than 63. There is a zero percent chance of rain, and the wind will be out of the Northwest at nine mph.

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