NFL Week 3 odds: Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers

It’s a possible Super Bowl preview on Sunday in San Diego as the unbeaten Falcons, who enter on a short week, take on the unbeaten Chargers – these are two of just six 2-0 teams remaining in the NFL.

Atlanta beat Denver 27-21 on Monday night thanks in large part to three Peyton Manning interceptions in the first quarter. Matt Ryan threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns as the Falcons withstood a fourth-quarter rally by Denver. Roddy White led all receivers with eight catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, while Tony Gonzalez hauled in seven passes for 70 yards and a score for the Falcons. Ryan is the league’s top-rated passer at 117.6, and he’s completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 518 yards and five touchdowns.

Michael Turner rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, including a 15-yard gain late in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Turner was arrested for DUI after the game but is set to play – a suspension could be coming later in the season, however. Turner is a former Charger.

San Diego had no trouble last week with a 38-10 home win over Tennessee. Philip Rivers completed 24-of-32 passes, including three scoring tosses to Dante Rosario, for the Chargers, who have won their first two games for the first time since 2006. San Diego has played its first two games without starting running back Ryan Mathews, but he’s set to return this week. Mathews fractured his clavicle in the preseason opener but has been practicing fully this week. Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was a late scratch in Week 2 due to a rib injury but likely will play Sunday.

In order for the Falcons to have a chance to pull off an upset in San Diego they will need their running game to come through with a huge effort. San Diego’s ability to stop the run with their base defense allows them to devote maximum numbers to coverage in obvious passing situations.

These teams haven’t played since 2008, with Atlanta winning 22-16 in San Diego when Ryan was a rookie.

WAGERWEB.COM ODDS: Chargers -3 (47.5)

FALCONS NOTES: QB Matt Ryan is 14-4 (.778) in career vs. AFC. In only start at SD, had 130.2 rating. In career, Falcons are 25-0 when Ryan has 100+ rating … RB Michael Turner was drafted in 5th round in 2004 by SD. Spent 4 years with SD. Since joining Atl. in 2008, ranks 3rd in NFL with 5,355 rush yards & is 2nd in NFL with 51 rush TDs. In last meeting, rushed 31 times for 120 yards. When he has 21+ att., his teams are 27-2 (.931)… In past 11 vs. AFC, WR Roddy White has 88 catches for 1,288 yards (117.1 per game) & 11 TDs. Had 6 catches for 112 yards in last meeting. Since start of 2007, has 485 rec., most in NFC. In 5 games vs. AFC, WR Julio Jones has 5 TDs & 18.5 avg. TE Tony Gonzalez had 5 100-yard games vs. SD. In past 3 meetings, has 26 catches for 315 yards (105 per game) & 3 TDs. Has 97 rec. TDs & needs 3 for 100 … DE John Abraham has 113 sacks, most among active players. LB Sean Weatherspoon had team-high 10 tackles last week. S William Moore had sack & INT in Week 2, his 1st career game with sack & INT.

CHARGERS NOTES: Seek 3-0 start for 1st time since ’02 … QB Philip Rivers (24,800) needs 200 pass yards to join HOFer Dan Fouts (43,040) & John Hadl (26,938) as only players in franchise history to reach 25,000. Has 38-11 (.776) record at home as starter with 98.3 passer rating. For career, is 14-10 (.583) as starter vs. NFC & has 45 TDs vs. 20 INTs & 95.1 rating. Rivers is 39-8 (.830) as starter when posting 100+ rating … RB Jackie Battle had career-best 2 rush TDs last week … TE Antonio Gates (597) needs 3 rec. to become 5th TE in NFL history with 600 career receptions. Gates (76) trails only HOFer Lance Alworth (81) for most TD catches in franchise history. TE Dante Rosario had career-best 3 TD rec. last week … WR Malcom Floyd registered 8th career game with 100+ rec. yards last week (109). In past 3 vs. Falcons (w/Saints), WR Robert Meachem has 15 catches for 245 yards (16.3 avg.) & 2 TDs … LB Shaun Phillips (62) has 3rd-most sacks among Chargers (Leslie O’Neal, 105.5; Lee Williams, 65.5) since sacks became official stat in ’82 … S Eric Weddle is tied for NFL-best with 8 INTs since ’11.

WAGERWEB.COM TRENDS: Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in September. Falcons are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Falcons are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Falcons are 1-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. Chargers are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. Chargers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 90 yards rushing in their previous game. Chargers are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. win.

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