One of the marquee match-ups in Week 9 NFL action features the undefeated Green Bay Packers taking on the reeling San Diego Chargers.
The Chargers looked abysmal last week in Kansas City, constantly squandering away opportunities to win the game. On the other side of the ball, Green Bay just keeps rolling, led by the cerebral Aaron Rodgers who is undoubtedly the favourite for this year’s MVP title, the Packers have their sights firmly set on a 16-0 record, and back-to-back Super Bowl titles.
This is what makes this game so intriguing. The Chargers can match up well with any team in the league talent-wise, but for whatever reason have struggled over the years in turning that promise into on-field results. Perhaps taking on the top team in the NFL will provide them with the wake-up call needed in San Diego.
Packers vs. Chargers Spread, Line, and Betting Odds:
Green Bay Packers -5.5 (-110)
@ San Diego Chargers +5.5 (-110)
Over 51 (-110)
Under 51 (-110)
Betting odds taken from BetOnline.com <– Get up to $900 FREE on 1st deposit
Packers vs. Chargers Pick:
It really is amazing to see just how much Philip Rivers has struggled this season. Once considered one of the sport’s elite quarterbacks, Rivers has put what was once considered a sure-fire post-season birth, in real jeopardy. Against a vicious Packers’ defensive corps, that likes to put pressure on opposing play-callers, the defending champs will grant Rivers no reprieve this Sunday.
Though it’s trendy to pick the week in which the Packers fall off the pace and finally pick up that first loss, don’t count on this game to fulfill that role. This is a mismatch in every facet imaginable, and the name recognition of the San Diego Chargers is a tad over-valued in this spot. The Chargers have been one of the premier regular season teams over the past few seasons, but seem to be lacking key elements this year. What was once considered a squad that should coast to winning the easy AFC West division, now finds itself entrenched in a dogfight that will surely last until the latter weeks of the season.
That missing component could very well be Philip Rivers. The ex-NC State product looks to have lost his swagger that made him so solid in past seasons, as was seen in the final drive last week when he inexplicably fumbled away a sure win for his team.
Moreover, San Diego has been practicing with crowd noise on offense all week, as large contingents of Packers’ fans are expected to make the trip down from Wisconsin. As if this season hasn’t been embarrassing enough for Rivers and the Chargers, it will be quite the annoyance dealing with that on Sunday.
The key to this game for Green Bay is squarely focused on putting pressure on the immobile Rivers and not allowing him to exploit what has been a susceptible pass defense this campaign. San Diego will be without their top offensive lineman in Kris Dielman, allowing Packers’ premier rusher B.J. Raji to apply pressure to Rivers on all downs.
Although San Diego may receive a welcome addition back into their line-up in the form of key running back Ryan Matthews, Green Bay has been devoted in practise to shoring up their defensive deficiencies, and defensive co-ordinator Dom Capers has pointed out that his units have historically thrived in the second-half of seasons.
San Diego does have dangerous weapons that will test Green Bay’s Jekyll and Hyde defensive group, but with the way Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay attack are rolling right now, it’s nearly impossible to bet against them, especially coming off the bye week. Rodgers has a wealth of receivers, all capable of breaking off a game-changing play. Green Bay has won 5 straight match-ups against the Chargers, and it’s hard to envision a reversal in that streak. Expect San Diego to stay close for the first half, but it will be Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers who extend their record to a flawless 8-0 on Sunday.