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NFL Saturday Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers Preview: Start Time, Odds, Free Pick

San Diego Chargers Vs. Dallas Cowboys 8/18/12: Mitch's Free NFL Pick Against the Spread Free Football Picks

Week 2 of the NFL Preseason continues on Saturday night as the Dallas Cowboys travel to the west coast to take on the San Diego Chargers The game is scheduled for a 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds for the game have San Diego favored by 3 points for the game, while the total sits at 37.

Free Analysis: Though the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers each had victorious debuts to their 2012 preseasons, both teams came out of their openers with significant casualties that will certainly affect the game plan for their Saturday night clash at Qualcomm Stadium. The biggest development in Dallas' otherwise-uneventful 3-0 victory at Oakland this past Monday was the serious injury sustained by Cowboys' tight end Jason Witten. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection lacerated his spleen after taking a hard hit from Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain in the first quarter, rendering him out for the rest of the club's exhibition slate and putting his status for the Sept. 5 regular-season opener against the rival New York Giants into question. Despite a win in their first preseason game, the Cowboys also had one of the worst offensive outputs of any team in the NFL. Tony Romo completed 50 percent of his passes but he was also sacked and neither Kyle Orton nor Stephen McGee looked inspiring in the backup role playing the bulk of the game. DeMarco Murray failed to gain a yard on two rushing attempts and Felix Jones had four yards as Jamize Olawale got the bulk of the carries averaging 3.5 yards per. San Diego's 21-13 home triumph over the Green Bay Packers was also marred by the loss of running back Ryan Mathews for an extended period. The 1,000-yard rusher fractured his clavicle on his first carry of the night, an injury that will sideline him for the next 4-to-6 weeks.The Chargers are hopeful that Mathews will be ready to go for their Week 1 matchup at Oakland, but will spend the remainder of the preseason prepping veteran Ronnie Brown and possibly Curtis Brinkley and fullback Le'Ron McClain for potential increased roles. QB Philip Rivers is healthy and is in line for an increase in snaps after working only four possessions in the mistake-filled win over the Packers, in which the two combatants combined for seven turnovers. He ended one of those drives with a 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates, but was also intercepted once and finished 3-of-5 for 37 yards. Jarrett Lee took over for the remainder of the contest and completed 15-of-22 throws for 235 yards, including a 36-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Vincent Brown. The undrafted rookie won't see as much time in this weekend's game, however, with No. 2 quarterback Charlie Whitehurst back from a sprained knee that kept him out of the opener. Dallas has prevailed in seven of the 13 all-time preseason bouts between these teams and came through with a 16-14 win in its last visit to San Diego, which took place in 2010. The Chargers exacted some revenge via a 20-7 triumph at Cowboys Stadium last August, though.

Free Pick: Im gonna look at the Under in this one. Both teams are dealing with significant injuries to their offense and i expect them to take it easy with their starters on that side of the ball. San Diego will be missing Ryan Mathews and that will hurt the running game. Sure Rivers will get more time in this game, but he didn't have a great opening game vs a bad Green Bay secondary and I don't expect him to have much of a better showing vs a solid Dallas defense. The Dallas offense didn't do much in the first game and they also lost a star on offense in Jason Witten. The San Diego defense played well vs Green Bay and should have another solid showing here as well. Look for this one to struggle to hit 30 points.

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