New offensive approach
L.A. made coaching change
CARSON — Dignity Health Sports Park here is the home of the Los Angeles Chargers for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Today, it will be more like Carson, Wisconsin with the Green Bay Packers in to play the Chargers.
Just like it was Carson, Pa. — an actual suburb of Pittsburgh — when the Steelers visited on Oct. 13.
The Men of the Lightning Bolt understand they are the only team in NFL history to be the visiting team every week.
“I’m sure there’ll be a lot of Packers fans,” Chargers fullback Derek Watt, a Wisconsin native and Packers fan growing up, told reporters last week. “They always travel well with their fans.
“But it’s not going to be a big problem for us, because we’re focused completely on winning the game.”
Steeler fans made up 75 percent of the 27,000 fans in the Chargers’ last home game.
Cheesehead Nation may match that turnout Sunday, with the Packers (7-1) off to their best start since an 11-0 getaway in 2011 and quarterback Aaron Rodgers the NFL’s leading candidate for the MVP award at midseason.
The Chargers, who stopped the bleeding with last week’s 17-16 escape at Chicago, are only two games out of the AFC West lead.
With quarterbacks coach Shane Steichen taking over from Ken Whisenhunt calling the plays Sunday, they’d appreciate not having to use a silent count in their own stadium.
“The Packers present enough problems on defense without adding in any worries about the noise or the crowd,” said Chargers quarterback
Philip Rivers. “Our team is excited about Sunday.
“It’s the start of the second half of the season and all our goals are still out there for us. Shane has us energized to do a better job offensively.”
Green Bay is visiting Southern California for a second straight year.
They made up more than half the crowd of 82,000 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum vs. the Rams on the day of Game 5 of the World Series a year ago October.
The Chargers only hope their change in play-calling goes as well as Green Bay’s has.
Initially new head coach Matt Lafleur, the former Rams quarterbacks coach, and Rodgers clashed over play-calling autonomy.
But since, Rodgers has thrown for 16 touchdowns and only two interceptions, for a gaudy 106.7 quarterback rating.
Aaron Jones has emerged as a playmaker at running back, scoring eight touchdowns already.
Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa, the AFC”s Defensive Player of the Week with his second straight two-sack game, knows it will be on the defense to at least slow down the Packers.
Even if it turns out to be Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood West.
“We’re players, we have a job to do,” insisted Chargers defensive tackle Isaac Rochelle, dismissing the home field disadvantage talk..
PLAY CALLER — Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) talks with head coach Anthony Lynn during the first half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 27 in Chicago.