Don’t Take the Chargers Lightly, They’re Loaded

What should be most-alarming about the game is a backup QB along with a Chiefs team missing 5 other starters (their MVP QB and top 2 pass-rushers) had the lead at halftime and gave the Packers everything they could handle.  It seemed the patience of Mike Pettine paid off and it resulted in another Packers win.

At least to me, Pettine seemed to play the game of Your QB has to outplay mine.  Neither QB turned the ball over, however Rodgers did get away with 2 throws that very easily should’ve been intercepted—conversely, he made up for those 2 bad throws with 2 of some of his best throws…ever.  Both throws came on 3rd down, and each resulted in the drive ending in a Touchdown.  Rodgers won that game, again.  He made the throws when they mattered, even to close out the game on 3rd and 5, to Aaron Jones.

My concern is with the potential return of Davante Adams, Rodgers and the offense may key on him vs. keeping the balance which they’ve showed since his exit.  LaFleur and Hackett have done a great job showcasing the talent of Aaron Jones, as he’s been super productive and has been borderline unstoppable.  The optimist in me thinks that with the insertion of Adams, the offense will get another boost from a dynamic playmaker, thrive, and be even more difficult to get off the field.

Tom Silverstein wrote a great article this week, about how the Packers’ offense (LaFleur and Rodgers) has hit strides w/o the presence of Adams.  My thinking is that it forced the QB to trust other players and forced the other players to produce or get cut (i.e. Shepherd).

Review—the Packers won, yet again, playing far from their best.  This could be looked at two different ways: A. they found a way to win when not playing well – OR – B. they didn’t play their best, again.  Why not be optimistic here?  No team ever plays a (or near) perfect game. The Packers keep finding ways to close out games.  This was a team closeout win.  The defense forced a punt, with the lead and 5+ minutes left.  The offense never relinquished control…love it.  Always love the Victory formation, best formation in football.

Current Status—at the midway point of the season the Packers find themselves at 7-1, which is somehow good enough for only the 3 seed in the NFC playoff picture.  Yes, it’s not too early to begin looking at the playoff picture as gaining as many home playoff games is essential to getting to the Super Bowl.  How has Green Bay gotten here?

After Davante Adams went down in week 4 (Thu vs. Philadelphia) with turf toe, the Packers struggled to find an offensive threat for the remainder of that game.  However, since then, the Packers have gone 4-0 averaging 32.5 points/game over that stretch.  Aaron Jones has been woken and has been the primary target of the offense avg.: 19.25 touches; 138 yards; 1.75 TDs over that same span.  Ideally the Packers getting Davante back will only add to the dynamic vs. reverting back to forcing him to get the ball.  Either way, Adams isn’t a Diva, or as long as Rodgers keeps running the offense as efficiently as he’s done over the last 4 weeks, this team is going to give their opponents fits.  Tom Silverstein wrote a great article explaining this in great detail.

Preview—don’t let the Chargers’ 3-5 record fool you, this team is loaded with talent and are a season removed from being 12-4, tied for the best record in the AFC, but lost out to KC for the division (and 1 seed) based on tiebreakers.  They eventually fell in New England in the playoffs, but this team has had talent up and down the roster since the days of Drew Brees and LaDainian Tomlinson, to now.  It’s no different.  They have pass catchers that can kill: WR Keenan Allen #13, Mike Williams #81, and Hunter Henry #86, and out of the backfield is Austin Ekeler #30.  On defense they have the older Bosa (Joey Bosa #97) whom already has 7 sacks and a forced fumble.  The guy is a problem, on the other side of the D is Melvin Ingram #54, whose recent return from injury has further helped.

While I was way off on the score last week, I still figured it’d be a tough game, this seems no different.  Again, per usual, this should come down to the QB-play, and the Packers have the better one.  Lastly, this might be a home game for Green Bay- should be 75%+ Packer fans in the stands, even more than the Rams game last year.

Packers 27
Chargers 24

Season: 5-3
Overall: 48-28

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