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By: Arif Hasan
The Green Bay Packers experts at Acme Packing Company helped us preview the Week 11 Chargers game and break down how the fanbase feels about Jordan Love, the young receivers and the inept defensive coaching in Green Bay.
The Los Angeles Chargers are set to complete their NFC North tour by heading to Lambeau and taking on the Green Bay Packers. DraftKings Sportsbook gives the Chargers a three-point advantage, likely a product of the superior quarterback play the oddsmakers see in Los Angeles.
The last time these two teams played wasn’t long ago — the Chargers beat the Packers 26-11 on November 3, 2019. If you think that’s an odd score, you’d be right. It’s only happened four times in NFL history, with three of those instances occurring in the last four years and the other occurring in 2006.
Generally speaking, their history against Green Bay is dismal. The Packers have the series well in hand 10-2 and are 4-1 in the last five matchups.
The past is the past, however. In order to preview this matchup I talked to Kris Burke of Acme Packing Company. He was kind enough to answer five questions I had about the Green Bay Packers.
1. Where are Packers fans at with the development of Jordan Love? Do they think that the years he spent riding the bench should have resulted in a stronger showing this year or are they treating him more like a developmental rookie or second-year player? Knowing how the Rodgers-Love saga has played out so far, how would you have approached that differently?
KB: Packers fans have been in a weird spot this year. They’re not used to this kind of quarterback play outside of Brett Hundley when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. It’s a little bit of a shock to the system.
There’s been a bit of a learning curve. Rodgers’ development was like a straight line pointing up, where Love’s has looked more like an EKG with a lot of ups and downs. As a result, some fans are over him, others don’t hold him accountable for the offensive issues at all. The truth, as usual, is in the middle. Quarterback development is rarely linear like Rodgers’ was. I think he deserves to be treated as a rookie, since there’s no substitute for regular season action against regular defensive coverages.
I think the Rodgers/Packers marriage reached the end. The process and reasoning of Love’s selection continues to deserve scrutiny, once the pick was made the endgame was obvious. It was just a matter of when. All things considered, it ended a lot better than it could have (see: Favre, Brett)
2. The Packers receiving corps has made a number of mistakes, likely because of their inexperience — every receiver and tight end was acquired in the last two years. Should the Packers have prioritized getting a veteran into the building instead of relying on Jayden Reed, Luke Musgrave, Romeo Doubs and Christian Watson?
KB: At the beginning of the year, not really because it looked like Watson especially was a rising star so while it would have been nice, I didn’t think it was an absolute necessity.
I’d like to #ColdTakesExposed myself on that one. They 100% need a veteran for nothing if not locker room leadership and a reliable security blanket for Love. Instead the group is going through a baptism by fire and it’s not helping Love develop any good consistent habits.
Yes, they were/are in cap hell but they could have gotten at least someone.
3. The Packers running game is shockingly tepid. Is that more attributable to the decline in quality from their running backs, injury to Aaron Jones or the offensive line? It would have been safe to assume a running threat like Love could open up lanes for the running backs, but perhaps an elite passer does more to create room in the running game. Is Rodgers’ departure impacting the run game, too?
KB: I definitely think it’s the latter two of the three, but Jones’ rough game this last week makes me wonder about a decline. The Packers run a different offense with Jones healthy. Love isn’t ready to overcome the loss of a player of that kind of caliber, even if Jones might be in decline.
Losing David Bakhtiari has really hurt too. Rasheed Walker isn’t a quality replacement. They need that anchor to get the running game going consistently.
Losing Rodgers probably has impacted the run game effectiveness too. His ability to read a defense and check out of plays was and is uncanny. Love isn’t there and probably won’t be. It’s up to Matt LaFleur to adapt his offense and he hasn’t done so yet.
4. Why is Joe Barry still employed? It feels like the Packers defense has been underperforming the level of talent actually on the roster for over a decade now. Is that too harsh? If not, what is he doing wrong that minimizes what this team can do?
KB: I don’t know but if LaFleur isn’t careful, Barry might get him fired. Seriously. His hiring practices deserve legitimate and serious scrutiny after this and the horrible special team hires not named Rich Bisaccia.
There have been way too many resources and picks thrown into that defense to be this mediocre-to-bad. I don’t believe Brian Gutekunst is THAT bad of a GM in terms of talent evaluation.
Barry never should have even been a candidate when Mike Pettine was fired. Paul Noonan wrote an excellent piece for APC on Barry’s hiring in 2021 here (link below).
5. The Chargers have had to shift on a passing game dependent on explosives to one built around after-catch capability after injuries to Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer. How do the Packers deal with the intermediate, short and screen games? Does Keenan Allen concern you? Which players would you say are the best DraftKings bets to take?
KB: It all depends on the Packers ability to make a tackle. A lot of times players are in decent position but they can’t make a proper tackle. Their fundamentals are overall very poor in that area. That’s why they’re very much a “bend, but don’t break” defense.
Allen is a concern in that if he starts strong and Barry blows the gameplan, the defense will be incredibly slow to adapt if they do at all. Barry’s inability to adjust to a hot hand in-game is a Capers-level flaw that should be his undoing.
As far as best DraftKings Sportsbook bets, I’d take Jayden Reed for the Packers at +1600 to score first. He’s arguably their WR1 at this point and he’s building some chemistry with Love. The Packers have broken through the opening drive lull and he’s a great bet to get the TD.
As for the Chargers, I’d take Allen at +700 to score the final touchdown. If it’s close, Green Bay will probably give up the score in the air. Allen will be a prime target, especially if he’s been hot all game.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Originally posted on Bolts From The Blue – All Posts