After a extremely tough month of play from the loss to Detroit via the loss to Minnesota, the Inexperienced Bay Packers have regarded like a extra competent soccer crew the previous two weeks. Regardless of dropping a detailed one to Pittsburgh, dropping their report in one-score video games to 1-4, the offense particularly took one other step ahead from the actually poor play we noticed over a lot of the early fall. With some progress being seen, the Packers welcome a fairly bizarre opponent to city this Sunday within the Los Angeles Chargers, who’re favored by three factors on DraftKings.
The Chargers presently sit a full recreation exterior the playoff image within the AFC and have the fifth-worst report within the convention. Regardless of this, although. They’ve a +24 level differential, good for seventh within the AFC. Their passing offense is the star of the present, with them rating fifth in EPA-per-dropback at +0.167 and eighth in dropback success price. Whereas opinions nationally stay cut up on quarterback Justin Herbert, he actually appears to be like the a part of a franchise quarterback, notably given the truth that his weapons are nothing to jot down residence about. Veteran Keenan Allen leads the group and has maintained his robust play, capped by a catch price that exceeds 75%, however accidents have weakened the group behind him. Veteran receiver Mike Williams is out for the yr with a torn ACL, in order that has pushed children Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston into extra snaps, and their manufacturing has been positive if not nice. The tight finish place is headlined by Gerald Everett, who ranks virtually lifeless common 18th in Whole EPA for tight ends. Outdoors of Keenan Allen, there isn’t a ton right here, however Allen’s improbable season helps Herbert hold the passing recreation environment friendly regardless of lackluster weapons and a mediocre offensive line.
The Chargers run recreation has actually struggled general. None of their beginning offensive lineman submit PFF run blocking grades north of 60, and it’s mirrored within the knowledge. The Chargers have the twenty second ranked rush offense by EPA-per-rush and are thirty first in success price. Now, the Packers run protection can also be fairly porous, as we noticed final week towards Pittsburgh, however they’ve dealt with unhealthy run offenses simply positive this season.
The important thing to slowing down the Chargers is de facto simply slowing down Keenan Allen. Sadly for Inexperienced Bay, their cornerback room is depleted. Jaire Alexander, at finest, might be enjoying injured and feels extra prone to not play in any respect. Rasul Douglas is out the door, Eric Stokes is injured, and so meaning rookie seventh rounder Carrington Valentine and particular teamer Corey Ballentine will get the decision to decelerate the star receiver. Not precisely one thing that conjures up a ton of confidence.
On the opposite aspect of the ball, this Chargers protection stinks. They rank twenty eighth in general EPA-per-play allowed, and are unhealthy towards each the run and move, rating twentieth and twenty sixth within the classes, respectively. The Chargers play an identical shell protection to the Packers, with head coach Brandon Staley being the second main implementer of the system on the NFL stage after Vic Fangio. Regardless of good outcomes with the Rams, the Chargers defenses have been unhealthy for principally his total tenure. It’s simply extremely straightforward to maneuver the chains on this protection. Solely Denver and Arizona have allowed a better conversion price than the Chargers this season.
Sequence conversion charges on offense and protection
Sort of stunning seeing the Eagles protection the place it’s this yr. The Chargers should not a shock. pic.twitter.com/ox6TqcrCAL
— Laptop Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) November 14, 2023
That’s excellent news for the Packers offense this week, however they must execute differently than final week. Pittsburgh’s protection permits massive performs, however the Chargers power you to work the ball down the sector. Now, you may completely work the ball down the sector on them, however it’s going to most likely require extra persistence and down-by-down execution. That may require Jordan Like to be a bit extra correct, which he has been in latest weeks. The Packers passing offense general is about league common at +.044 EPA-per-dropback, however they’re worse on a down-to-down foundation with successful price that solely ranks twenty first. They are going to want extra consistency this week as the large performs are much less prone to present up.
Regardless of the Chargers having a below-average run protection, don’t anticipate a giant day on the bottom for the Packers. The offensive line simply merely isn’t shifting our bodies. They rank within the second lowest tier of run blocking models behind the true dregs of the Giants, Jaguars, Chargers, Panther, and Buccaneers. Till that line begins shifting our bodies, it’s simply laborious to persistently get Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon going.
The place the Chargers could cause issues is with the move rush. Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack each are fairly disruptive move rushers nonetheless, and having two excessive finish edge rushers will power Inexperienced Bay to find out the place they wish to assist. The Packers did a terrific job final week slowing down the Steelers edge rushers, and I might anticipate an identical gameplan this week. Loads of chip assist, notably for whoever begins at left deal with, and largely trusting Zach Tom, one of many higher move protectors within the league, to deal with his matchup.
The Packers are available in as slight underdogs at residence regardless of enjoying higher the previous couple of weeks and having each home-field but additionally a serious time zone benefit. This recreation will kick off at 10 AM PST. It’s troublesome to argue with it, although, as regardless of these components, the Chargers have the bones of an excellent crew. They’ve an excellent passing offense they usually have a solidly constructive level differential. The Packers offense has relied largely on massive performs this yr, and the Chargers schematically try to power you into executing down-after-down. If Inexperienced Bay wins this week, it’s going to virtually actually have to return from robust execution play-after-play on lengthy drives, which might be a welcome sight for an offense that has struggled with consistency.