Both games were fairly high profile, as the Chargers took on the Packers in a game that featured two on the NFL’s best quarterbacks, while the Broncos took on the Bears, highlighted by the return of Peyton Manning.
Here a few things I noticed about the two AFC West teams in each game:
-Antonio Gates looked refreshed at the tight end position, breaking free once for a touchdown grab. We’ll see if his aging body can keep it up for an entire season.
-Philip Rivers was not impressive. I’m not sure what’s wrong, but in the five passes he threw last night, he looked like the same erratic player he was in 2011.
-Vincent Brown is legit. The second year man out of San Diego State led all receivers with four catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. I see him evolving into one of Rivers’ favorite targets this season.
-The Chargers are desperate to find a backup for Ryan Matthews. Eight different running backs toted the rock for San Diego last night, with only Curtis Brinkley logging any meaningful carries.
-Rookie defensive tackle Kendall Reyes looked solid, registering four tackles and a half of a sack. The Chargers got a gamer on their D-Line.
-Other than the pick he threw, I couldn’t really notice a difference in Peyton Manning’s play. Obviously we’ll need a larger sample size to make a more conclusive judgement on how effective he’ll be.
-Xavier Omon stood out to mean when rushing the ball. I saw him play in person at Division II powerhouse Northwest Missouri State and thought back then he played a lot like Edgerrin James. Keep an eye on whether or not he makes the Broncos final roster, as he could be a factor going forward.
-Rookie defensive tackle Derek Wolfe is an absolute beat and a scary addition to the Denver front seven.
-I don’t know if Denver’s defense was that good or Chicago’s offense was that bad. Either way, impressive performance by the Broncos, though I would have liked to have seen one series against Jay Cutler.
I’ll break down the Chief’s performance in tonight’s game tomorrow morning right here at Silver and Black Daily.