This game could turn out to be a slug-fest, but not if the Packers dominate three key elements of the Chargers’ offense.
In his first game back from his suspension, Antonio Gates was a force to be reckoned with. The Steelers defense had a lot of difficulty keeping him under wraps. This concerns me because it’s been an achilles heel for the Packers for some time. They’ve been notorious for letting tight ends chew up big yardage. Still, the Packer defense has done a much better job of this in 2015 and this is a new team.
The question about Gates, that has me wondering, is whether he burned out the emotion of the return in the first game back on Monday night or if the loss in the last seconds to the Steelers will just fuel his fire more. Of course, if the Packer defense plays in the same disciplined fashion they’ve been playing, even the emotion of the return won’t be enough.
Keep an eye on Woodhead. He’s no Randall Cobb, but they play him like he is. He’s a quick little receiver that will line up in the backfield, dart across from the slot, and make people miss after the catch. He could give the Packer defense a taste of what it’s like for other teams to face Cobb.
Quick pursuit and a corralling, gang tackling type approach will give this speed demon no where to go.
The Chargers’ passing offense is ranked #2 in the league. When Rivers has time to throw the ball he can be absolutely deadly. The key, as with any good quarterback, is to get pressure on him and make him run. This action alone separates the good quarterbacks from the great ones. Any QB in this league can throw if he can sit in the pocket. Only a handful can sling the ball with accuracy while on the run (for example Aaron Rodgers).
Rivers is like many quarterbacks. Let him sit and he’ll tear you apart. Make him move and he’ll miss. Or, better yet, put him on his back and make it even more difficult to throw the ball.
Packers Win Over the Chargers
If the Packers can contain these three on Sunday, they’ll walk away from this game with another win under their 2015 belts.