The Green Bay Packers take their 7-1 record to Carson, California, on Sunday, where they take on the Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) in a game that most experts say will be a relatively easy win for Green Bay and its future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The last, and only time, the Chargers have defeated the Packers was in 1984. Green Bay has won all seven meetings since then, failing to cover the point spread only once in that span, according to Forbes.
In a survey of eight NFL experts from ESPN, Pro Football Talk, USA Today, and other publications, USA Today found unanimous agreement, all predicting that the Packers would win the game at Rokit Field and Dignity Health Sports Park, about 14 miles south of Los Angeles.
The game features a matchup of two veteran quarterbacks. For Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers is 35-years-old, but his 15th season has so far been his best since 2014. With 16 touchdown passes in eight games, good enough for second in the NFL, and a league fourth-best quarterback rating of 106.7, Rodgers also ranks second in passing yards. He has thrown only two interceptions all season.
While Rodgers is a certain Hall of Famer, the case for Los Angeles quarterback Phillip Rivers is less clear — but only because at age 37, he has yet to win a championship in his 16 seasons.
But statistically, the case for a Rivers Hall of Fame bid would seem more likely. As Bleacher Report pointed out, Rivers — the fourth overall draft pick in 2004 — is the eighth highest-rated passer in NFL history. He ranks sixth all-time in total touchdown passes. Rivers also ranks eighth in total passing yards among all quarterbacks since the 1970 merger of the NFL with the American Football League.
The Packers are favored by 3-and-a-half points on the road in the Sunday afternoon game. But reportedly, the club declined a possible opportunity to give Rodgers an extra edge, failing to even explore the possibility of signing free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was cut by the New England Patriots after Week 2.
The Patriots picked up Brown, who had spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers until this season after the Oakland Raiders cut the controversial receiver loose during the pre-season. But when multiple allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against Brown, the Patriots let him go as well.
The Packers come into the game on a four-game winning streak, though that streak includes a fourth-quarter, 23-22 win over the Detroit Lions in which two apparently blown calls by officials allowed the Packers to come back from a nine-point deficit with 12:17 left in the game.
The Chargers snapped a three-game losing skid with a 17-16 win over the Chicago Bears last weekend and badly need an upset win over Green Bay to keep their hopes for a postseason bid viable.