Oct 11, 2015; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) scrambles with the football during the third quarter against the St. Louis Rams at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
QB – Aaron Rodgers
Last Week: 19/30, 241 passing yards, 2 passing TDs, 2 INTs, 1 Fumble Lost, 39 rush yards; 17.54 fantasy points
Aaron Rodgers has been talking this week about a need to play faster on offense. That makes sense; the Packers currently sit at 29th in the league in pace.
Part of that can be attributed to an uppage in the usage and effectiveness of the running game during most of the past couple seasons. Another part can be attributed to the injuries faced by his receiving corps; Jordy Nelson has been out all season and Davante Adams has barely played after getting injured in Week 2. Injuries have also hampered the effectiveness of his offensive line; Bryan Bulaga has missed significant time, putting backup Don Barclay as a starter in three games before he returned against St. Louis.
The issues have been most apparent in the past two weeks, with Green Bay only scoring 17 points against both San Francisco and St. Louis. The more worrisome part is that the usually-careful quarterback had three uncharacteristic turnovers this past week. If the offensive issues around him are allowing the pressure to affect his play, this could dramatically affect the productivity of the offense.
Lucky for him, the Chargers are coming into Lambeau Field this week.
Unlike the last two teams he faced, San Diego is a much less formidable defense. They do have some talented pieces — safety Eric Weddle and cornerback Jason Verrett come to mind — but their defense ranks 22nd in overall defensive DVOA* and a middling 14th in pass defense DVOA.
Rodgers is highly unlikely to have another poor performance, even if he were playing a more dominant group this week.
The only thing likely to suppress a great outing is if the running game for the Packers gets some serious usage. Now, that is a definite possibility; the Chargers are even weaker against the run than the pass, and Green Bay could and should seek to exploit that advantage to some extent.
Even with that in mind, expect a good bounce-back performance from Mr. Rodgers before Green Bay hits their bye week.
Week 6 Prediction: 275 passing yards, 4 TDs, 20 rush yards; 29.00 Fantasy Points
Verdict: Bounce-Back Performance
*DVOA is a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: Five yards on third-and-4 are worth more than five yards on first-and-10 and much more than five yards on third-and-12. Red zone plays are worth more than other plays. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent.