Packers at Chargers Preview: The Bolts must contain Aaron Rodgers

John Woz, Jr. | November 2nd, 2019 

The 3-5 Los Angeles Chargers face a team from the NFC North division for the second time in as many weeks. The 7-1 Green Bay Packers are in the habit of winning football games, and they will be hard to stop.

The Packers at Chargers Preview features two veteran quarterbacks unlikely to face each again in their careers. The Chargers were fifth in offense last year, but 2019 has been a contrasting season. The Bolts offense will look different on Sunday after the front office relieved Ken Whisenhunt of his duties. Sunday’s preview starts with the Battle of the Quarterbacks, featuring two veterans who have thrown for over 100,000 yards in their career.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers has been playing out of his skin to keep the Packers moving. Rodgers is hot, and his performances in weeks seven and eight have been nothing short of outstanding. The Oakland Raiders were on the wrong end of a vintage Rodgers’ performance after the veteran had a perfect quarterback rating. A-Rod was 25-31 with 429 yards and five touchdowns. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram must shut Rodgers down at every opportunity if the Chargers are to chalk off another tick in the win column.

Several key traits give Rodgers the edge over the league’s quarterbacks and his ability to stay focused in the pocket is a joy to watch. The Packers will sweat on the availability of Davante Adams but Rodgers has spread the ball to whoever is available on offense. The purists should enjoy Rodgers’ performances, and Sunday’s game should be fascinating. The Packers have a 13th ranked offense against a Chargers 12th ranked defense.

Philip Rivers

Shane Steichen steps up from quarterback coaching duties. Steichen’s abilities to call plays will be scrutinized from the first snap. Chargers fans want to see more juice when they have the football.  Rivers needs his offensive line to play to a high level, that’s easier said than done. Despite throwing seven interceptions, Rivers has not been afraid to throw into double coverage.

Preston Smith and Za’Darius Smith have registered seven and eight sacks this season, respectively. The Packers pass rush poses a huge threat to Rivers. Watch how Rivers handles the pressure. There are few quarterbacks in the league with the mental toughness of No.17. In 2015, River had a monster 503 yards against the Packers. Expect a shootout on Sunday.

Chargers Injury Update

Brandon Mebane and Justin Jackson are both doubtful for Sunday’s game. Russell Okung took part in Friday’s practice. Michael Badgley will return for the Bolts.

Packers Injury Update

The Packers are all but healthy. Receiver Davante Adams and tight end Robert Tonyan are questionable.

Final Word

Whisenhunt’s tenure as the offensive coordinator should not have continued as long as it did. Austin Ekeler flew out of the traps in the first few weeks of the season but his numbers have dwindled since then. Ekeler had five touches in the game against the Chicago Bears last week. The Chargers must focus on improving the run.

Can the Chargers win this game? Yes, but they’ve got to be smarter on offense by running the football. A 4-5 record would set the Bolts up for two divisional games and a bye week. The performance of Casey Hayward will be a key component of the Chargers defense. Hayward has contributed with 13 interceptions and over 50 pass breakups since 2016. Both quarterbacks have options out wide in Adams and Keenan Allen, two of the league’s best receivers.

There will be a lot of offense in this game. Aaron Jones will have a big influence on the game. How it plays out is anyone’s guess. Hunter Henry has been positive for the Chargers. The Packers are on the ascendancy but don’t expect the Rivers and company to capitulate. Green Bay are the favorites for this game but it would not surprise me to see the Chargers walking off with the win.

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