Packers vs. Chargers – Unfiltered Game Day Commentary and First Impressions: GB 45 SD 38 All Green Bay Packers All the Time
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Green Bay Packers vs. San Diego Chargers:

It seems like forever since the Packers last played – I guess that’s to be expected when your team is 7-o.  The Packers travel to normally sunny (but rainy today) San Diego today hoping to stay on their roll and keep the “what’s wrong?” questions about Philip Rivers and the Chargers going.


Inactive for the Packers today are:

CB House, LB Francois, LB Lattimore, G/T Dominguez, T Clifton, DE Neal, LB So’oto.

Sam Shields returns to the active roster after his silly end zone antics against the Rams that earned him a concussion.

It’s a bit unusual to see 3 linebackers inactive, given their special teams contributions. Also make you wonder if Dom Capers game plan lessens the need for linebacker depth.



Mike McCarthy Pregame Show on 620 WTMJ:

Bye week: We focused on getting back to schedule. Important to get back into that work week routine. I feel good about the quality of the preparation that went into this week. Important for us to be ready and get off to a fast start.

5 straight days off -reward?: Combination of things. When you’ve had this kind of success, it should be recognized in some way, but we also wanted to take the opportunities to let guys rest.

Injuries: This is as healthy as we’ve been this year.  Anytime you have 3-4 healthy inactives on game day, it’s a good sign.

Zombo: He’ll definitely go in. Frank and Erik do very well when they split the reps, keeps them fresh. I really like it when we have both of those guys up.

Chargers: Big part of our message: We’re dealing with a wounded animal and it’s in their house. We know it’s going to be a tough game and it’s important we play this game the right way.

Rivers: very productive – he’s had some tough days, but one of the better offenses we’ll play

Chargers tall receivers: Some big targets – they have a big receiving radius and that helps them when they bget into the red zone.

Weather: you definitely have a weather plan – we knew to expect rain today and we’re ready for it.

Running game: We love to have a one-two punch with Ryan and James. There’s a lot of football to be played. It will take both of these guys to accomplish what we want to accomplish. But when one guy get’s into a groove, you want to give him the ball.


Packers vs. Chargers – First Impressions – First Half:


First play of the game is just what has given the Packers the most trouble; short passes that go for big yards (23 in this case).

TD pass to Jackson. Shields seems to give up on the play (expected safety help?) while Woodson (at safety) & Burnett may have got there assignments mixed up. Woodson should have been there…

That’s 3 times the Packers have deferred after winning the toss and the other team scored a TD on their first drive (Carolina, Minnesota and now San Diego). That seemed to work well last year, but with this year’s defense, not sure it’s a great idea.

Wonder what it’s like for an average guy like John Kuhn to hear his name screamed everytime he touches the ball…

Slippery Peprah – nobody could grab him on his pick six return. And Clay Matthews takes out some unsuspecting OL at the end of the play. BAM!

I always say, give Capers an extra week of preparation and the defense will make some big plays. Pick-six Tramon! Rivers gets sucked in…

McCarthy decides to go for the first down on fourth and three from the 37. With Crosby so hot, that did surprise me, not that I minded.

It doesn’t matter what the Chargers do. The Packers will score as much as they need to win. My 2011 season mantra: “It doesn’t matter”

I can’t get over how calm Rodgers looks when he walks onto the field to start a drive. Like he’s strolling around the mall.

You’d think we’d see a draw or screen pass to combat the down field coverage and pass rush…


Packers vs. Chargers – First Impressions – Second Half:

Let me say once again, I love the way James Starks fights for that last extra yard or two…

Until Alex Green went down, Ryan Grant was set to be let go somewhere else next season. Now, those plans are in limbo…

Based on a bunch of Walden tweets after his sack, I guess I’m the only guy that thinks Erik Walden has been doing a good job this season.

Very impressed by SD running back Mike Tolbert.  A better version of Atlanta’s Michael Turner.

Am I allowed to say this has been a very unimaginative game plan from Mike McCarthy? How about a screen or a draw to slow down the SD pass rush? Or maybe a shot down field – hasn’t been one.

No sooner did I finish typing the line above, that the Packers go deep to Jordy Nelson. Thank you Mike.

When Aaron Rodgers is accurate like today, that back shoulder throw is just impossible to stop. I feel bad for defensive backs everywhere…

With 8 minutes left in the game, San Diego has more first downs and more yards than the Packers – and it doesn’t matter… Packers 45-31

SD recover the onsides kick. Why was Driver not back there? Isn’t he the official onsides kick catcher?

45-38 just like that. This defense will keep ANY team in ANY game…

Packers following the same script. let teams back in games and depend on the defense for a big play or stop. Will they get it again?

Interference on Woodson on 4th down to keep the SD drive alive. Excuse me, but wasn’t that pass uncatchable?

QB pressures are just as good as QB sacks…

Wow, that was an “imaginative” 3rd and short call deep in your own zone. Empty backfield, QB rollout. Gee Mike, I wish you hadn’t listened to me…

SD gets the ball back with 1 minute left and no timeouts trailing by 7 points…

Clay, watching the QB and not Gates, loses track of him…

This D has got to be DEAD tired…

And the script is once again followed. Big defensive play near the end of the game to preserve the win. Peprah with his second INT of the day. Game over…





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Jersey Al Bracco is the founder and editor of, and the co-founder of Packers Talk Radio Network. He can be heard as one of the Co-Hosts on Cheesehead Radio and is the Green Bay Packers Draft Analyst for


27 thoughts on “Packers vs. Chargers – Unfiltered Game Day Commentary and First Impressions: GB 45 SD 38

  1. We’re winning but we still have a lot of problems. It’s good that these games are being close, it leaves no room for complacency.

  2. I predicted.

    Packers 48-10

    Close. Yes the Defense is still a problem, however its a bend but doesnt break. For now until the playoffs come, we can deal with a average defense. Playoffs are different, but for now we can have these issues as the playoffs are given and we probably will nab a bye.

    That being said. Rivers has regressed severly and is no longer a Elite QB. San Diego has constantly had a window of chance for them to make a Superbowl and they have constantly failed. Norv Turner is officially on the death watch.

    1. I don’t think it even bent in this game… it was just broken. They allowed the Chargers to put up 38 points; meanwhile, the Packers offense only scored 31. Yes, they did have the three interceptions, but they were lousy in the red zone against a team that was having trouble in that area.

      Sproles ran all over them, and that, to me, was the biggest concern. When the other team has success running the ball, it’s harder to defend the pass.

      1. Fair points Chad. Although there were some penalties that were a head scratches but yes the defense was a bit broken. I would say they weren’t completely, because they had enough heart to still fight when the game was shifting away from them.

        San Diego is a tough team but the Defence for the 1st half of the game were near the ball to challenge to tip.

        Either way, 8-0 and 1st in the NFC, I think Capers will have plenty of film this week for sure and give them some time and you’ll see improvement as we inch closer to a 1st round bye.

  3. Unless they get it fixed, I have a BAD feeling that this D will cost them a shootout in the playoffs. Turnovers and insane offense don’t always come through.

    This is the ugliest 8-0 team I’ve ever seen. 🙂

    1. You keep saying that turnovers don’t always come through yet they keep happening somehow… I would’ve thought that after being in the top 3 in forced turnovers in the last 3 years, people would be thinking different but it comes up again and again.

      You can’t just pretend that those turnovers didn’t happen and say it’s a bad defense. You can’t brush them off as flukes. It is going to happen almost every single game, because this defense is thought that way, and there’s just too many playmakers for it not to happen.

      1. You’re right RS. The turnovers are not a fluke. But turnovers come in bunches. They also dry up in bunches. One game without a turnover or a (gasp) subpar game from ARod and GB goes down.

        That’s playing with fire. And I don’t like it. Nor should you. It makes me very nervous.

        1. Absolutely agree. They’re playing awful right now. Missed tackles galore, blown coverages left and right, no pressure on the QB whatsoever…

          All of those IMHO are the sum of a lot of little errors.

          Clay was double teamed EVERY play, even on stunts, because nobody is bringing pressure outside of him. Nobody is winning their 1-on-1s. So there’s no pressure.

          There’s been a lot of shuffling at the secondary, Tramon has missed time, Shields has missed time, Burnett has missed time, Peprah didn’t start. All that, with a new playbook (same scheme as ’09 and ’10), with no OTAs and Minicamp to implement those changes, all that is causing the miscomunication.

          That, and overagressiveness. It’s guys *cough*Woodson*cough* going for the strip instead of wrapping up, it’s guys trying to jump gaps and being caught up in deceptive plays, it’s guys jumping on routes all at the same time. Woodson even jumped the eye of Rivers. As soon as Rivers looked the flat, Woodson made a move to go there, but couldn’t turn around fast enough to cover his guy.

          All that is correctable. With the return of Neal and Zombo being healthier will improve the pass rush, they’ll allow Raji and Walden to be fresh all the time, which will improve the pass rush and take away double teams from Matthews. Comunications will improve with more familiarity with the playbook. And going by what I heard from Woodson in the post-interview, the D will get more focused and will play more assignment-surely, all that’s going to help on tackling and on blown coverages.

          But the one thing you can’t coach is playmaking ability, and that we have plenty. It’s so abundant that forced turnovers are expected each game. From what I’ve said earlier, you can count on that.

          1. Agreed RS. Agreed. I hope things turn out the way you describe here. They could. Perhaps even “should” do so.

            But I’m still not confident….

            1. Just too many good, proven personel, both players and coaching staff, for it not to eventually. I don’t know if they’ll ever achieve the kind of performance they were putting last year, particularly in the playoffs, but it’ll certainly improve a big deal by January.

  4. It’s usually sunny and dry here in San Diego, but Mother Nature gave us Green Bay-like weather here today. It was wet and cold (by our standards) which made for great football weather. The crowd today was at least 60% Packers fans. I totally agree with Al’s take on the play calling today. I had the same thoughts on that on side kick, where’s Driver? I also thought the Packers had success running the ball early but got away from it. But a win is a win!

  5. Nice getting close to that 10-0 marker. 😉

    Although the defense looked bad, I think a lot has to be said of those bad calls by the refs. We got hosed on at least 2 huge “penalties” (air quotes).

    The refs make the right calls there, the game is not nearly as close.

    Of course Ted will wisely take the best player on the board (or should) but more LBs and DEs couldn’t hurt.

  6. I don’t want to hear “bend but not break” again. This defense is broken and I’m afraid it can’t be fixed. Thank you for AR! Without him they’d be sucking hind teat. 460 yards given up is in no way acceptable. If things don’t change bad things will start to happen.

  7. Love being 8 and 0 but I predicted the D would shine today and outside of the pick sixes looked the sieve it’s been all year. Even when we blitz we don’t get home. There was no way the Chargers should have been in this game considering how the game started. Wood has got to stop gambling all the time. CM3 is getting worn down and B.J. hasn’t been the factor we’re used to seeing. The biggest difference between last year and this is a certain Cullen Jenkins is gone.

    Better get a pass rush because if A-Rod isn’t his typical brilliant self, well…..

  8. ok,so if we had a defense what would our record be right now.look guys,i think were spoiled rotten and it feels good rite rite.i really really think this team plays to the level of the teams they play and have not played a perfect game yet,but their 8-0.i know all the points teams are scoring is alittle scrary,but this team makes plays when they need to.if our defense was number 1 in the league,what would our record be…oh yea 8-0 and watchin 45-0 scores every week would get boring.we are good, very very good so relax and enjoy the ride.GOT TO HAVE FAITH IN MCCARTHY AND CAPERS,I KNOW I DO. WERE 8-0…..RELAX FRANCIS

  9. I’m thinking that as it stands we’re less a bend don’t break D and more a boom or bust one…
    We make big plays-we give them up. Frustrating ? Absolutely but I think we have to get used to it this year as least.
    Will our D cost us. It might but the all sorts of things MIGHT happen. If the Packers 2010 season showed us anything it was how thin the line between success and failure sometimes is.
    Thing is we can win with this D-again look back to the 09 Saints and the coaches and players will be trying like hell to improve. Seem to remember the 07 Colts being run all over in the regular season but tightening up in the post season. Improvement is possible. Also discount this teams will to win and experience of winning that can make a difference in close games and when the pressure is on.
    For me I’m going to pinch Al’s it doesn’t matter mantra and just enjoy this team, its sometimes brilliant offense, and a QB who has me swearing with a combination of disbelief and admiration several times a game… 🙂

  10. The biggest concern with the defense is not that they play a bad game now and then. The problem is that in 8 games played they have shown no improvement. You can’t expect AR to have a 145.8 QB rating every game.

    Heard Laravee this morning say he’s thinking of changing his “Dagger Rule.” He won’t be throwing it until the last 2 minutes.

  11. The biggest problem with the D that I see is no pass rush from the front 3-4. Last year BJ and others were getting to the QB. Now, our secondary must cover the receivers for as much or more than 5 seconds. Giving the opposing QB that much time a decent QB will find some break down in the secondary. I sure hope this Neal can add some real fire power to the D-Line, man, do we need it. BTW, I havn’t heard BJ name even mentioned in the last several games, I wonder what has happened to him???

    All I can say after this near loss, it’s time for all the D to MAN UP!!! And earn all those millions your making!!!

  12. “…Woodson (at safety) & Burnett may have got there assignments mixed up.” I can sort of understand normal fans who can’t get their grammar straight, but a guy who gets paid to write making the classic there/their mistake?

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