San Diego Chargers (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS) vs. Green Bay Packers (5-0 SU, 5-0 ATS)
NFL Week 6
Date/Time: Sunday, October 18, 2015 at 4:25PM EST
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
by Scott, NFL Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: SD +10/GB +10
Over/Under Total: 50.5
The San Diego Chargers make the trip to Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Green Bay is undefeated, with 5 straight wins, while also covering the spread in each game thus far in 2015. They look to keep it going against a Chargers team that absorbed a gut-wrenching 24-20 loss to the Steelers on Monday Night Football. Going into Lambeau on the short week is a tough way for a team to try to lick its wounds.
The Chargers have the leading passer in the league with Philip Rivers, but that is an indication of their major issue, which is their offensive line. They cant block so San Diego cant break loose with the ground game, headed by promising Melvin Gordon. So Rivers has to swash-buckle in the pocket, trying to make things happen with what is a really good group of pass-catchers. With the return of Antonio Gates, who looked game-ready after a 4-game suspension with 9 receptions and 2 TD passes, the aerial attack adds yet another dimension. WR Keenan Allen has 39 receptions, with guys like Stevie Johnson, Danny Woodhead, Malcom Floyd, and Ladarius Green giving this offense plenty of pop. But with the leagues top passer, they are still only the 16th top scoring team in the league and their 20 points on MNF was another case of this Chargers team not making the most of their production.
Defensively, the Chargers have been disappointing this season. They havent made many big plays when called upon to do so. With less than half a quarter remaining on Sunday, they let Michael Vick and a Pittsburgh offense that looked stuck in the mud to mount two touchdown drives. The first was a big bomb to Markus Wheaton for a touchdown, seconds after the Chargers went ahead with a TD score. Then after a 54-yard FG from Josh Lambo, the Chargers defense let Vick and the Steelers offense go in with no time left to cap off a TD drive. The final play, with LeVeon Bell shedding defenders was a testament to a Chargers team that tends to come up short in critical situations. Hard-bitten Chargers fans could see it coming.
San Diego has actually gotten pretty good play from the pass-defense. Other than Josh McCowns performance a few weeks ago, theyve been pretty stout in that area, albeit against some non-prolific passing offenses in the league. Against the run is a different story, however, and that could bite them against Eddie Lacy this Sunday. All in all, the Chargers are not terribly stout on either line of scrimmagenot a good recipe when about to face Green Bay.
The Packers easily handled the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau on Sunday, in a 24-10 win. It was an efficient performance by the offense. Aaron Rodgers didnt have his best game, throwing two picks, including the first interception at Lambeau in nearly 600 attempts. In their last few games, including a 17-3 win over Frisco, you get the feeling theyre holding something back, or at least not unveiling the full scope of their true offensive menace.
Whats perhaps most promising about Green Bays form headed into week 6 is how the defense is playing. Theyve given up 13 points total in their last two games. And in what is bad news for the Chargers, they have been really good against the pass, with guys in the secondary like Micah Hyde, Sam Shields, and emergent second-year safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix playing great this season. Julius Peppers, Nick Perry, and Clay Matthews are applying a fierce pass-rush on opposing quarterbacks. In recent seasons, this Green Bay Packers team often won despite the defense. Now this side of the ball appears to be a real asset.
But of course, the Packers offense is what gets the most attention. Rodgers has been tremendous this season, other than last week where his team still won by 14 points. Randall Cobb and returning son James Jones are making for a nice 1-2 punch at wide receiver. With Devante Adams out, other guys have been able to chip in, like rookie Ty Montgomery and TE Richard Rodgers. James Starks is still in the mix making plays. And while hes started slow, Eddie Lacy is still a handful coming out of the backfield. The front line is playing well and even when Rodgers is under duress, he scoots around effortlessly to find openings.
Green Bay is really above reproach this season thus far. But in wins over Chicago, Seattle, Kansas City, San Francisco, and St. Louis, the Packers beat teams who arent able to air it out to the extent that Philip Rivers can. Its a different look for most defenses. San Diego has viable aerial targets coming from many different sources. Again, it is all rendered less-powerful with a SD offensive line in disarray, but when looking for an upset candidate, youd like to see one like San Diego that can potentially make things very hard on defenses. But with that offensive line?
With the subdued approach Green Bay has been showing lately, theres a chance that San Diego could get the jump on them and make it hard to cover the big number. For Green Bay, they are a conference contender for a reason and one of them is that they dont take games lightly. But San Diego could be playing for their season, with a loss taking them to 2-4. I look for the Bolts to give a strong effort and cover the number.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im betting on the San Diego Chargers plus 10 points.
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