The San Diego Chargers (2-3) will attempt to move on from their heartbreaking loss on Monday night against the Steelers as they head to the not-yet-frozen tundra of Lambeau Field. Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell scored a TD as time expired to the dismay of Bolts fans around the world. Now the Chargers must focus their attention on the undefeated Green Bay Packers (5-0) on the road.
When: Sunday October 18, 1:25 pm PT
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Betting: Chargers (+11.5)
The Chargers have only beat the Packers once in their series history and that came in Lambeau in 1984. The Packers own a 9-1 series advantage that dates back to 1970.
Of course the Chargers’ O still revolves around the man, the Phil, the legend, Philip Rivers. He’s
leading the entire NFL in passing yards with 1,613 yards and fifth with 10 touch downs on the season. He also got his main squeeze, Antonio Gates, back and all they did was hook up for 9 receptions, 92 yards and two TD’s in his return.
the back field. Melvin Gordon attended the University of Wisconsin and is from there. He would like to make his homecoming a coming out party as well. He should be running hard with more friends and family in the stands.
Keenan Allen is having his best start of his career so far and is 3rd in receptions while piling up 444 yards. The Packers defense is very underrated, especially at home, meaning the Chargers offense is going to have to be firing on all cylinders come Sunday.
The Chargers secondary was finally all together last week for the first time since the opener. Jason Verrett is playing at a Pro Bowl level so far this season and will need another great day out of him
covering the explosive Pack receivers. Brandon Flowers, on the other hand, hasn’t been on his A-game. He has burned on a double move by Markus Wheaton late in the MNF that let the Steelers right back in the game. Weddle has been good, but not at the level we are used to seeing him. Meanwhile, slot corners Patrick Robinson and Steve Williams have both played above expectation and has provided some much-needed depth at the position.
Manti Te’o is starting to look more comfortable in the middle of the Chargers defense. He’s been flying around making plays, but still needs to work on finishing tackles. Jeremiah Attaochu has been dominating off the edge since missing the first game of the season. He leads the team with 2 sacks and 9 QB hits. The Bolts will need to put massive pressure on Rodgers and keep him from moving comfortably around, and outside, the pocket (a lot easier said than done).
Aaron Rodgers gaudy numbers so far this season: 117. passing rating, 13 TD’s, 2 INT’s, 70% completion. James Jones, who signed right before the season, has been happy about his return to Lambeau. He’s already caught 5 TD’s, good for second in the NFL, and he’s a threat to score on every play.
Speedy receiver Randall Cobb has been dealing with an injured shoulder so far this season but has still be productive (300 yards and 4 TD’s). The Pack could also be getting a boost with the return of WR Davante Adams, who has been dealing with an ankle sprain.
Eddie Lacy hasn’t gotten it going quite yet but can have that signature performance during any game. James Starks has been getting a lot of carries as well so far. The Chargers will need to be ready for the big, physical runner that Lacy is, while also preparing for Starks who has good hands and runs down hill.
Typically an underrated group because of Aaron Rodgers on the other side of the ball, the Packers defense is pretty darn good. They already have 20 sacks, good for 2nd in the league, led by linebackers Julius Peppers (4.5), Clay Matthews (4.5) and Nick Perry (4.5). The Chargers offensive line might be in for a long day if they can’t figure out how to slow down this attack. Rivers will need to work quickly and should run the hurry up offense to tire out the defense, but I doubt they will.
The defense has also given up the third fewest points so far averaging just 16.2. The Bolts score 23.2 points per game.
What we’re watching:
I’m watching for Melvin Gordon to get a lot of work in this game. Not only is he going to be jacked up to play back in Wisconsin, but if the Chargers want to win this game they are going to have to control the clock and offset this pass rush. If Gordon can establish himself early, and the offensive line can open some holes for him, then the Chargers have a shot at escaping with a victory.
This feels like one of those games where the Chargers will somehow, someway, play way better than they have all year because that’s who they are. But I’m going to try and stay level and say:
GreenBay 31, San Diego 20