Pick-Six Preview: Packers at Chargers

Here is our first look at Sunday’s game between the Green Bay Packers (7-1) and Los Angeles Chargers (3-5).
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Green Bay Packers (7-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-5)

The vitals: 3:25 p.m. Sunday at Dignity Health Sports Park

TV: CBS

Series: The Packers lead 10-1. Green Bay has won seven straight, including the last three by a touchdown each.

The last time: Green Bay survived 27-20 on Oct. 18, 2015. Philip Rivers threw for 503 yards but his final pass of the night, the potential game-tying touchdown, was broken up by Damarious Randall.

The quarterback

Philip Rivers leads one of the most pass-happy attacks in the NFL. He’s second in the league with 202 completions, fourth with 305 attempts, third with 2,315 yards and 10th with 66.2 percent accuracy. However, he’s thrown 12 touchdowns vs. seven interceptions to rank only 19th with a 92.5 rating. At age 38, he’s one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, checking in sixth all-time with 56,971 passing yards and 386 touchdowns. In three career starts against Green Bay, he’s averaged 398 passing yards.

His top weapon

The Chargers have a dynamic backfield with Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler but Rivers’ main man is Keenan Allen. In eight games, he’s caught 51 passes for 617 yards and three touchdowns. One of the more versatile receivers in the league, 23 receptions came from the slot. Allen caught 29 passes and scored all three touchdowns in the first three games, then was limited to 15 catches the next four games. In last week’s win at Chicago, Allen was questionable with a hamstring but caught seven passes for 53 yards. “To be honest with you, I wasn’t expecting him to play but that’s just Keenan Allen,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said on Monday. “On Sunday, it’s time to go and he said, ‘Coach, I want to play.’ It started out just putting him in on a limited basis and as the game went on, he played probably more snaps than we thought he was going to play.” In the 2015 matchup, he riddled the Packers with 14 receptions for 157 yards.

Getting defensive

Defensive end Joey Bosa dominated the Bears last week with two sacks and four tackles for losses. “The dude is a beast,” Lynn said. “I mean, yesterday was a day where that guy kind of took over a game and, really, I feel like won a game for us. Not that he hasn’t in the past, but we were all like, ‘Dang.’ When we needed a big play, Joey came through. I’m super glad we have a guy like that and we have him on our team.” For the season, he’s got seven sacks. Pro Football Focus has credited Bosa with eight sacks. According to PFF, Bosa rushes from the defense’s left side 57.6 percent of the time. He has seven sacks and 26 total pressures from the left compared to one sack and 11 total pressures from the right. He’ll be a big test to right tackle Bryan Bulaga, who missed the end of last week’s game with an injured finger.

Noteworthy number

7: The Packers are tied for the NFL lead with seven touchdown receptions by running backs. The other team? The Chargers. For the Packers, Jamaal Williams has four and Aaron Jones has three. For the Chargers, Ekeler has five, Gordon has one and Troymaine Pope has one.

The big picture

Week 9 Capsules