LA Chargers Upset Packers 26-11
November 7, 2019
The Green Bay Packers came to town with the expectations of improving on their division leading 7-1 record. After all, they were going up against the floundering Los Angeles Chargers, a team that had just fired their offensive coordinator. What followed, as Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers later stated, "Was a good slice of humble pie for us."
The Chargers took control of the game from the outset and never let up, easily defeating the Packers 26-11, in an upset victory that not a lot of people saw coming. The game was played in Carson. The Packers were four-point favorites on the road. There was talk of the Packers being in Super Bowl contention. Rodgers was the early Vegas favorite to win the NFL MVP. By the end of the game, Rodgers and the Packers looked stunned and bewildered.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had a good game, completing 21 of 28 passes for 294 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon had his best game of the season, rushing for 80 yards on 20 carries, adding two touchdowns as well. Wide receiver Mike Williams also had his best day of the season with three catches for 111 yards. Tight end Hunter Henry had another great game, hauling in seven passes for 84 yards.
The Chargers took the opening kickoff and drove 85 yards before settling for a Michael Badgley 29-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. After the Chargers defense held the Packers to a three-and-out on offense, the Chargers offense started with good field position at their own 41-yard field goal. From there, they drove 37 yards in five plays, again settling for a Badgley field goal, this one from 41 yards to give the Chargers 6-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Chargers added three more points in the second quarter following a 13 play, 76-yard drive, when Badgley connected from 34 yards out to give the Chargers a 9-0 halftime lead. In the second half, the Chargers scored again on a field goal after a long drive, with Badgley converting from 43 yards to give the Chargers a 12-0 lead.
After a blocked punt by rookie linebacker Drue Tranquill set up the Chargers at the Packers' 27-yard line, the Chargers finally scored a touchdown on a Gordon one-yard touchdown run, to give the Chargers a 19-0 lead over the Packers with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
The Chargers added a touchdown after a Packer field goal, with Gordon going over from one yard out on fourth down, to give the Chargers a 26-3 lead with 10:32 left in the game. At this point in the game, the Chargers had 404 yards in total offense to just 84 yards in total offense for the Packers.
A dominant performance against one of the better teams and one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. So, where did this performance come from?
In the previous four games, the Chargers had rushed for a total of 142 yards on 63 carries. In this game, the Chargers rushed for 159 yards on 38 carries. They finally committed to running the football. Behind their new offensive coordinator, Shane Steichen, the Chargers used three running backs and pushed the pace on the field, making it difficult for the Packers to get their substitutes on the field.
Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn was pleased with Steichen and the emphasis on the running game. "Shane did an outstanding job. Like I said, I'm always wanting to get involved, but Shane would never have to look over his shoulder when calling plays. He did an outstanding job. I thought he was aggressive when he needed to be aggressive and he did a good job establishing the run when he had to."
Lynn added: "We established a run and we committed to it. Those guys, they started out that way at the beginning of the season. I knew they could do it, they did it last year. It's just giving them enough opportunities. It was a point of emphasis. If you look at when we moved the ball down the field and have been the most efficient, a lot of the times it's when we are in a no-huddle offense. We decided to go with that a little bit today."
Defensively, the Chargers put pressure on Rodgers all day long, with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram leading the way. Bosa and Ingram each had 1.5 sacks in the game. Rodgers was under constant pressure all game. The Packers ended up with 139 net yards passing, their worst performance of the season. The Chargers also held the Packers to only 45 yards rushing.
The Chargers have a short week this week, as they travel to Oakland for a Thursday Night contest against the Raiders. The Chargers improved to 4-5 with the win over the Packers and have a two-game winning streak. The Raiders are 4-4 for the season. This game could have playoff implications for both teams. It should be a wild and entertaining game for the Chargers against their hated AFC West rivals.