Well I finally cleaned up the vomit induced by Monday' nightmare. In all honesty, I've been to all but a handful of Chargers home games over the last 18 years and that was about as bad a loss as a regular season defeat could get it. I knew a game like this was coming this season - because at least one always does - but it still didn't make it hurt any less.
Of course this Sunday figures to plenty painful enough for myriad other reasons. So, let's get on with it, here's what you need to know about the Green Bay Packers:
Head Coach: Mike McCarthy (96-49-1, 7-6 Postseason, 1 Super Bowl Win)
Offensive Coordinator: Edgar Bennett
Defensive Coordinator: Dom Capers
McCarthy has been the head honcho for the Packers since 2006, during which time he has consistently fielded one of the league's better teams. The one-time Baker University tight end got his start in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs as an offensive quality control assistant in 1993 before being promoted to quarterbacks coach two years later. He served at the same position for the Green Bay Packers in 1999 and later became offensive coordinator for the Saints (200-2004) and 49ers (2005) before returning to Wisconsin. McCarthy is 2-0 in his career against San Diego, as the Packers took down the Chargers in 2007 (31-24) and in 2011 (45-38), two games that no doubt stand as the proudest moments of his career - other winning that whole Super Bowl thing.
Edgar Bennett played running back in the NFL for seven seasons, five with the Packers (1992-1996) and two with the Bears (1998-1999) before rejoining Green Bay in 2001 as the Packers' director of player development. He later served as both the team's running backs coach and wide receivers coach before being named offensive coordinator prior to the start of this season.
In contrast, Dom Capers has been coaching in the NFL since 1986 and has served as either a defensive coordinator or head coach for the better part of the last 23 years. Notably, his two head coaching stints were with expansion franchises as Capers was the first ever coach for both the Carolina Panthers (1995-1998) and Houston Texans (2002-2005). He has served as Green Bay's defensive coordinator since 2009.
Last Week's Recap: Defeated the St. Louis Rams 24-10
They're might not be a greater contrast in styles between the Chargers offense and what the Rams attempted to do on Sunday. Jeff Fisher's group committed to trying to run the ball with Todd Gurley throughout the contest, regularly employing an I-formation with 22 personnel. Though Gurley finished with 159 yards on 30 carries, Green Bay did a solid job of bottling him up for the majority of the contest, as the rookie running back totaled just 89 yards on his first 25 carries before breaking off a 55-yard gallop.
One of the reasons why the Rams relied on Gurley to such a degree - other than the obvious fact that he is an extremely gifted football player - is that to do other wise meant putting the ball in the hands of Nick Foles. This did not go well. Foles completed 15 passes total, 11 to Rams receivers and two to Quinten Rollins, one to Ha-Ha Clinton DIx, and one to Micah Hyde, who, incidentally, do not play for the Rams at the present moment.
Indeed, Foles incompetence squandered a stellar performance by the Rams defense, as St. Louis proved that Aaron Rodgers can be relegated to the level of a mere mortal when playing at Lambeau Field. Rodgers turned the ball over three times - the first time he's done that in a single game since 2009 - and three two interceptions - his first home interception in three seasons. John Pagano can only pray that this - however unlikely - is the dawn of the a new era. Eddie Lacy, to the frustration of fantasy owners everywhere, was ineffective in totaling 27 yards on 13 carries. Lacy wasn't alone however, as the Packers mustered just 86 yards on 27 carries. Again, keep praying Pagano.
Key Players: Offense
QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Randall Cobb, WR DaVante Adams
As if Aaron Rodgers needed any help, Davante Adams returned to practice yesterday. Adams, a second year player out of Fresno State, was expected to see a surge in production after Jordy Nelson was lost for the season, but has missed time this season due to an ankle injury. While Adams is a well-sized wide receiver with great athleticism and anticipation, Cobb is the jewel of the Packers receivers. Cobb is an incredibly shifty and explosive receiver who figures to be Rodgers' primary target on Sunday.
Lacy has not been nearly as productive as many thought he would be entering the season. The third year back has yet to top 100 yards this season and is averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He has also failed to reach the end zone in the Packers' last four games. However, Lacy is exactly the type of running back that has seemingly always given the Chargers problems. Lacy is a big bruising back who can accelerate through the hole and is a force to reckon with when heading down hill.
Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the league and destroyer of my hopes and dreams for this Sunday.
Key Players: Defense
DL B.J. Raji, DL Mike Daniels, LB Clay Matthews, LB Julius Peppers
After missing all of last season, Raji has experienced a solid start to the 2015 season, and has thus far resembled the player he was earlier in his career. While not quite the disruptive force he once was, Raji is still a talented player that can cause problems for the middle of the offensive line.
Alongside Raji is Mike Daniels who may be the best of a deep group of Packers defensive lineman five games into the season. Daniels plays with a high-motor and is effective against both the run and the pass.
Behind them is Matthews, who moved inside after spending his six seasons at outside linebacker. The move hasn't had any effect on the former Trojans' linebacker as Matthews enters the contest with 4.5 sacks on the year. Speaking of sacks, Julius Peppers is still a force to be reckoned with at 35 years old - there's a lot of that going around apparently. Like Matthews, Peppers also has 4.5 sacks through five games and will no doubt be a handful for INSERT CHARGERS TACKLE HERE.