Packers vs. Chargers: 4 Keys for Green Bay in the Second Half

Matt King@TheRealMattKingFeatured ColumnistNovember 6, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 23: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers reacts during the second half against the Minnesota Vikings on October 23, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Packers defeated the Vikings 33-27. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers were rolling coming into this week's matchup against a San Diego Chargers team that has been struggling mightily as of late. All signs pointed to another easy victory for the Pack.

It certainly looked like it was heading that way after a perfect drive by Rodgers and two defensive touchdowns gave Green Bay a 21-7 lead, but Philip Rivers turned it around and led the Chargers back to cut the lead to 28-17 heading into the second half.

Here are four keys for the Packers to make sure that they hang tough and pull out this win.

Put More Pressure on Rivers

Philip Rivers has had one of the worst seasons of his career so far, but he's still an elite quarterback in this league if he gets enough time.

When the Packers weren't getting in San Diego's backfield, Rivers has been able to pick them apart. As soon as they started getting to him, boom, pick-sixes.

Hit Tolbert Earlier

In rainy, sloppy conditions like this, a bruising runner like Mike Tolbert is right in his element. He's been having a lot of success running the ball against the Packers so far this game.

The way to stop a guy like this is to get penetration in the backfield and get contact on him and try to slow him down as early as possible. If you let him build up speed, you'll see more touchdowns like his first one.

Aaron Rodgers in Not Michael Vick

Sure Rodgers had success early in the game running for first downs, but that's not his game. After a few successful runs, he started getting caught, including a third down in the second quarter where he had more than enough time to make a throw, but got caught up thinking about running it and ended up getting sacked again.

That led to a failed fourth down conversion. Rodgers needs to stick to his strengths. Even though he ran for big yards near the end of the half, that's not how Green Bay is going to win this game.

Get More Offensive Reps

Sure it was nice that the defense got two touchdowns for Green Bay, but because it happened back-to-back, you could tell that the Packers were a little rusty when they got back on offense.

Then the defense gave up a couple drives that took a long time. It's just not an idea situation for the Packers. Even though they're winning, they need more than three offensive possessions in a half.

Some more defensive touchdowns would be nice, but mainly the defense needs to get a few three-and-outs in the second half and give Aaron Rodgers some time to get back into a groove.