At 0-1 each, the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers are both hungry for a victory on Sunday.
While the Chargers couldn't hold off the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jaguars lost on essentially the last play of the game when they couldn't convert a 4th-and-1 against the Green Bay Packers.
While Jags quarterback Blake Bortles said losing on Sunday "sucked", the QB, team and Head Coach Gus Bradley are eagerly anticipating the challenge the Chargers bring.
"The matchup presents a lot of challenges (especially) with the running game, now," Bradley said. "I know they like to be balanced and when they're balanced, they're really, really effective on offense. It looked like they had the balance last Sunday. Whenever you have 150 yards rushing and a quarterback like Philip Rivers, it presents a lot of challenges. I thought (with) their defense, they have a lot of talented players up front. The linebacking crew is coming together. They have some young players, but they're showing up. (With) their secondary and guys like (Jason) Verrett, we know all about him and his skill set and what he's all about. It's a great challenge for us."
As for how number 17 presents challenges? According to Bradley, while a lot of it is Rivers' physical prowess, the QB is also extremely cerebral and in their three matchups since 2013, the Jags have lost each game.
"I think (Rivers) gives a lot of teams problems. He's very talented. He operates the whole system at the line of scrimmage (with) his ability to check in and out of bad plays to get into a good play. He's seen every look imaginable. It's very difficult to fool him. When the ball snaps, he knows where he's going and what he wants to do. I think that's what makes him so special. We haven't had a lot of success as far as consistency against him or the Chargers."
On the opposite side of the ball, while Bortles mentioned he has great admiration for Jason Verrett and Dwight Lowery, someone he played against in-division when Lowery was with the Colts, he admitted playing against the Bolts DBs makes him step his game up.
"They ask (the defensive backs) to play man-coverage a lot which I think kind of challenges any corner or anybody that's locked up one-on-one with a guy," Bortles said. "I think that's a challenge for them and they do a good job at it. I think Jason Verret's a guy you need to be aware of wherever he's at. He is a little bit undersized but he has extremely good ball skills and can get up and go make plays. I think we're going to have to be sharp and prepared and crisp in our passing game."
In addition, Bradley is quite familiar with Brandon Mebane who he previously coached in Seattle and added that he's well aware of what it's like to face the 6-1, 311-pound nose tackle.
"We know a lot about him and his toughness," Bradley mentioned. "I saw he got a sack on tape, so he can bring that as well. He's very, very stout, a very good run defender and showed some rush there as well. Their inside guys are very impressive on tape."