The Packers get an unfamiliar opponent this week. The Chargers are languishing at 3-5 this year after going 12-4 and winning a playoff game last year. Let’s look at three of the big storylines for Sunday’s game.
New Look Chargers Offense
The Chargers fired offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt after last week’s win over the Bears. Changing coordinators midseason can go either way, but in this case, it can’t get much worse. The Chargers have only scored more than 20 points in two of their 8 games this year. They haven’t even rushed for 40 yards in their last 4 games. With a 3-5 record putting them almost out of contention for a wide card at midseason, they have nothing to lose. Combine that with the fact that the Chargers don’t have a built-in home field advantage and will need to work extra hard to get the crowd going and it’s clear that the new offensive coordinator can come out guns blazing with nothing to lose.
The Turnover Battle
The Chargers have turned the ball over 8 times in the last 4 games. It’s not a coincidence that they would be 0-4 in those games if the Bears had a kicker. The Packers defense only has 3 takeaways in the last 3 games after starting the year hot with 8 in the first 3 games. The Chargers have had a takeaway every game since their Week 1 victory over the Colts, while the Packers have not turned the ball over in 5 of their 8 games. That’s a lot of interesting stats! Takeaways are important every game, but it seems like something is going to come to a head in this game.
Watch Out For Austin
Aaron Jones has received a lot of (well-deserved) attention for his work as a dual threat. In Los Angeles, Melvin Gordon has been getting all the press, but running back Austin Ekeler has been the real threat. With 507 yards receiving, Ekeler is more than 80 ahead of the Packers leading receiver (MVS at 420) and more than 150 ahead of Aaron Jones. He also leads the Chargers in rushing (which isn’t saying much) by a wide margin. The Packers have a tough assignment in finding the best way to cover him.
For more pregame coverage, check out Pregame Predictions: Packers at Chargers – 2019 Week 9