Sunny San Diego, California is the site of the second of two NFL Monday Night Football games televised on ESPN tonight that brings week one of the new season and schedule to a close. The game features the San Diego Chargers playing host to the Houston Texans as one team opens with a new coach and the other with a Super Bowl appearance in mind. Free live online streaming instructions and the game’s start time on ESPN can be found below.
No one knows quite what to expect from the Chargers after they underperformed last season and coach Norv Turner was fired as a result. Mike McCoy is now calling the shots and is considered to be a more conservative play caller than Turner was. A simpler and faster tempo offensive attack could benefit quarterback Philip Rivers who was sacked 49 times last season, the most of any quarterback in the AFC. In Rivers’ favor is he is 4-0 all time against the Texans.
San Diego will have a slightly different look on offense with McCoy at head coach, former Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt at offensive coordinator, and wide receiver Danario Alexander out with a torn ACL. Danny Woodhead was signed from New England to give Rivers an extra target down the field, but the loss of Alexander will definitely be felt.
The Texans finished 12-4 last year but couldn’t reach the Super Bowl, their ultimate goal with the team is it is currently constructed. Headed into this season, Houston wants to at least match last season’s solid record – if not surpass it. They’ll have an extra piece on defense this season to help make that happen.
Back from a torn ACL that cost him every game after week 5 last season is former Rookie of the Year linebacker Brian Cushing. He will join a defensive unit that already includes Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, the league leader in sacks with 20.5. Houston also added Ed Reed from the Super Bowl champion Ravens, a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. Rivers better bring his A-game if he wants to crack this talented group and put points on the board.
The Chargers are fresh off a major coaching change while the Texans are an established team that added a few key pieces to take them to the next level. I predict the Chargers fall gracefully to the visiting Texans by 13 points.
Tonight’s second NFL Monday Night Football game and final game on the week one NFL schedule kicks off at a late time of 10:25pm EST / 7:25pm PST in high definition (HD) on ESPN. Subscribers to ESPN have the option to watch a live online free streaming version of the football game here on mobile devices, cell phones, Xbox 360 and tablets, while those who want to watch the game without paying for cable will need to purchase NFL Sunday Ticket or go watch at a buddy’s house or a bar.