TE David Paulson - Los Angeles Chargers
|6-3, 246||Born: 2-22-1989||College: Oregon||Drafted: Round 7|
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Week 7: vs Denver Broncos
All TE vs DEN
FBG says: Tough matchup. Philip Rivers and the Chargers passing game has been up-and-down in 2017, with the ups and downs mostly correlated to the quality of the opposing defense. Rivers has shredded the shaky secondaries of Miami (31 of 39 for 331 yards) and Philadelphia (347 and 2 touchdowns), but been limited in efficiency by the Broncos and Giants (just 5.84 yards per attempt). If we can project this trend along, Rivers should struggle noticeably in this rematch - and his three touchdowns from the season opener don't seem particularly repeatable. Rivers has surprisingly been among the league's least effective passers in the red zone. There's definitely hope, though, if the tight ends can get going. The Broncos have struggled against the position, and Rivers has always been able to put his tight ends in position to score touchdowns.
It's hard to overstate the devastating impact we tend to see from this Broncos pass defense. No 2017 opponent has yet topped 250 yards against them, and in fact, only 3 of their last 21 opponents have hit the modest mark. All-world cornerbacks Chris Harris and Aqib Talib have smothered opposing receivers as usual - no wideout has managed more than 64 yards in a game, and the top guys they've faced have been thoroughly neutralized. Dez Bryant, Keenan Allen, and Amari Cooper combined for a staggeringly low 103 yards across 34 targets. You could quibble with their tight end defense, which has indeed been worked over by opposing starters for an average of 5.2 catches and 56.2 yards (and 3 touchdowns). That will happen when a secondary like this pinches a passing game inside and erases boundary receivers. All told, it's hard to get excited, or even care at all, about any quarterback or wideout matched against Harris and Talib. It's a dominant coverage unit only made stronger by the occasionally suffocating pass rush.
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