(Photo credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports)
The Los Angeles Chargers can get back to .500 when they visit the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon in Green Bay, Wis.
Los Angeles (4-5) remains optimistic that it can make a run for the playoffs despite losing three of its past five games. The Chargers are coming off a 41-38 setback on theirhome field against the Detroit Lions in Week 10, dropping the tug-of-war with the NFC North leaders on a last-second field goal.
Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert said he and his teammates remain confident. The team scored a season high in points last week, however it also surrendered a season high in points.
On the season, Herbert has passed for 2,349 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions.
"I think you just have to build off it," Herbert said about the offense. "You have to understand that when things are going well and when things are going the way we want them to, we can play pretty good offense. We can move the ball pretty well and we can get things rolling.
"As long as we're dialed, we're eliminating those mental errors and those missed assignments and we're focused on our job, I think that's huge for our offense. When we're able to do that, good things happen. It's just something to build off of for sure."
Green Bay (3-6) sustained a narrow defeat in Week 10. The Packers gave up a second-half lead and lost 23-19 to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the latest in a line of tight losses. Of the six defeats this season, four were one-score games they fumbled on the road: at Atlanta (25-24), at Las Vegas (17-13), at Denver (19-17) and last week.
The Packers are 0-2 against teams from the Chargers' division, the AFC West, and host the first-place Chiefs (7-3) on Dec. 3.
To catch Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City, the Chargers must slow down Packers quarterback Jordan Love. He passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, and rookie wide receiver Jayden Reed hauled in five catches for 84 yards and a score for his best performance of the season.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur has been pleased with his young stable of receivers. The Packers drafted Reed in the second round (No. 50 overall) out of Michigan State and he rose to the occasion with Christian Watson, a 2022 second-round pick, and Romeo Doubs, a fourth-rounder last year, fighting injuries.
"I just really love his mentality," LaFleur said of Reed. "I think he's wired the right way mentally, in terms of just how he attacks it. Not that it's always going to be perfect, but when he does make a mistake, there's no flinch to him. He just keeps it moving and he doesn't get rattled.
"He doesn't allow one play to affect the next, and we expect him to continue to grow and develop. He's far from a finished product, but I think that he's got a very bright future."
Both teams are dealing with banged-up players whose status is uncertain for this week.
Chargers wideout Keenan Allen (shoulder), tight end Gerald Everett (back), defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day (knee) and tight end Daniel Parham (hip) all missed the first full practice of the week.
Meanwhile, two Packers missed practice Wednesday: cornerback Jaire Alexander (shoulder) and safety Rudy Ford (biceps).
This will be the 13th regular-season meeting between the teams. Green Bay holds a 10-2 advantage in the series, which marks the highest regular-season winning percentage for the Packers against any opponent.
--Field Level Media