After a week of preparing for one of the most-feared and fierce no-huddle offenses in the league, the Falcons can anticipate a calmer and slower-paced game on defense this week against the San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers' offense looks in mid-season form and has helped the team to its first 2-0 start since 2006, but it's done so by methodically driving up the field instead of changing and adjusting at the line of scrimmage. This style on offense will be a little different from what Atlanta's defense faced on Monday night against the Broncos and Peyton Manning.
Against the Titans last week, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said the offense didn't run a single no-huddle snap. That helped them achieve 43 minutes of time of possession, a large edge over Tennessee's 16 minutes. In the Chargers' Week 1 win over the Raiders the margin wasn't quite so wide, close to even at 30 minutes for each team.
Rivers said the Chargers prefer to huddle, though he believes they have the personnel to run the quicker-paced offense should they chose to. He added that while they do huddle and run a called play, they have the flexibility and ability to change things at the line of scrimmage.
"You have to do what's best for your team," said head coach Norv Turner. "We have been able to score points without using the no-huddle, hurry-up offense."
Controlling the clock and sustaining drives, the Chargers have used their system to success this season. Turner added that he believes his offensive philosophy is a benefit to his own defense as well.
"That keeps your defense rested," Turner said. "...We don't need to be in a big rush."
Three of San Diego's five touchdowns came on drives with 11 or more plays. Controlling the ball and the clock helped the defense hold the Titans to 212 yards on offense, 38 yards of it rushing.