Packers vs. Chargers: 5 Things to Watch and a Prediction for Week 6

The Green Bay Packers have an opportunity to go into the bye week with a perfect 6-0 record when the San Diego Chargers visit Lambeau Field in Week 6: 

Here are five things to watch and a prediction for Green Bay’s matchup with San Diego:

 

1. Raging Rivers

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is one of the best in the business, but the Packers should feel very good about their ability to put him under pressure on Sunday. He’s been sacked 16 times behind a makeshift offensive line in 2015, while roughly 40 percent of his drop backs have been disrupted by pressure. The Packers, meanwhile, rank second in the NFL in sacks with 20. Rivers is quick to get the ball out and he’s good at managing the pocket, but he doesn’t have the athleticism to consistently avoid a strong pass rush. 

 

2. YAC Masters

The secondary of the Packers better be prepared to tackle on Sunday. The Chargers lead the NFL in yards after the catch, with almost 60 percent of the team’s passing offense coming after the reception. Philip Rivers is averaging the fewest air yards per pass attempt in the NFL, but running back Danny Woodhead and receiver Keenan Allen both rank in the top 12 for yards after the catch. The Packers might catch a break with slippery receiver Stevie Johnson listed as doubtful. Either way, the shuffling up front has forced Rivers and the Chargers offense to lean on receivers chewing up yards in the short passing game. Tackling is important every week, but it will be especially vital on Sunday.

 

3. Matchup to Watch

Expect to see Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett take on the task of covering Packers receiver Randall Cobb. Verrett isn’t big—he stands a hair over 5’9” and weighs less than 190 pounds soaking wet—but he gave Steelers receiver Antonio Brown all he could handle last Monday night. Nickel cornerback Patrick Robinson has been a pleasant surprise in the slot, where Cobb still lines up the majority of his snaps. Since catching three touchdowns against the Chiefs in Week 3, Cobb has managed just eight catches and 67 yards over the last two games. Getting free against Verrett and Robinson won’t be easy for Cobb on Sunday, but the Packers offense needs him to get back on track. 

 

4. Lacy’s Chance

Packers running back Eddie Lacy is on pace for just over 800 rushing yards and three touchdowns after five games, and he still didn’t look 100 percent when he carried 13 times for 27 yards last Sunday against the Rams. Lacy should have a chance to get healthy in Week 6. The Chargers are allowing the fourth most rushing yards per game (132.0) this season, while also giving up the highest yards per carry (5.1). Fellow 2013 draft pick Le’Veon Bell rushed for 111 yards and the game-winning touchdown against San Diego on Monday night. The Chargers have only won once in the past two years when allowing over 130 rushing yards. 

 

5. No Raji, No Problem?

The revival of B.J. Raji at nose tackle has been a big reason why the Packers have been so dominant up front to start 2015. He’s doubtful to play on Sunday with a groin injury, as is linebacker Nick Perry (shoulder/hand). The Packers still have plenty of horses up front, but rookie Todd Gurley really hurt Green Bay in the second half after the two players left the contest. Mike Pennel and Letroy Guion should see more snaps against Chargers rookie Melvin Gordon, a Wisconsin native. 

 

Prediction: Packers 27, Chargers 17 (5-0)

The Chargers have lost three of their last four and are now traveling to Lambeau Field on a short week. Sounds like trouble. For the visitors. 

 

Zach Kruse contributes to Cheesehead TV. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at [email protected].

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Comments (7)

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Jeff Hayes's picture

October 17, 2015 at 03:00 pm

I got this game as a blow out 45-10

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 17, 2015 at 03:18 pm

It should be a blow out, a lot will depend on Lacy and the line. Rodgers has to find open receivers, the D should be good or lets put it this way they better be good.

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Ibleedgreenmore's picture

October 17, 2015 at 03:18 pm

It should be a blow out, a lot will depend on Lacy and the line. Rodgers has to find open receivers, the D should be good or lets put it this way they better be good.

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EddieLee's picture

October 17, 2015 at 03:23 pm

McCarthy uses a run first ball control offense to keep the defense and Rivers on the sideline. It works. Lacy/Starks have a monster day. Packer defense feasts on a lousy offensive line. They roll to victory at Lambeau. 38-20.

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Bearmeat's picture

October 17, 2015 at 05:20 pm

I think GB will win 31-17ish. Very very comfortable - but no 50 burger like last year.

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Since'61's picture

October 17, 2015 at 05:58 pm

Rivers is the best QB the Packers will have faced over the 1st 6 games of the season. However he is a stationary QB with a porous OL. The Packers D should be able to generate plenty of pressure on Rivers. On offense Packers ground game plus Rodgers usual accuracy should be able to keep Rivers off the field. If Packers STs remain consistent the Pack rolls to 6-0, 37-14. Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

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MarkinMadison's picture

October 17, 2015 at 07:45 pm

The only risk to this game is the Packers playing down to the competition. I think MM & Co. won't let that happen this year. They were too close last year. The Packers run away with this one for three quarters. The Chargers get a couple of cheapies late. Packers 38-21.

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