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Preview: San Diego at Green Bay

Only three teams are playing at home and as underdogs this week. Atlanta is 0-2 and is probably the worst team in the league so understandably they are underdogs at home vs. Carolina. Houston is 2-0 but hosting the 2-0 defending Super Bowl champs from Indianapolis. The Packers are underdogs at home vs. San Diego because they haven't played well at home since 2003 and San Diego's team is being treated as if it is the 2006 version.

I looked at San Diego's offensive struggles a couple of days ago. For simplicity I'm considering the special teams equal because San Diego had one of the best last season but the Packers special teams, which essentially won the game against Philadelphia, are playing better in 2007. Despite having LB Shawne Merriman, arguably the best defensive player in the NFL if you believe his story that his positive steroid sample was due to a tainted supplement, their defense was average in 2006. So far in 2007 they've shut down Chicago and were destroyed by New England, so their defense currently ranks near the bottom of the league.

If San Diego struggled against New England's defense, then there is no reason they should succeed against the Packers. It's not that New England's defense is all that similar, but that they played as well as each other in 2006. The Packers can bring pressure on QB Philip Rivers, who is obviously struggling so far this season, and they might be missing their starting right tackle. This doesn't seem like a good opportunity for Rivers to bounce back.

This should be a big game for rookie RB Brandon Jackson. San Diego's run defense is below average and both of New England's top running backs had over 5 yards per carry last week against them. With so many wide receivers hurt, the Packers pass offense might struggle but San Diego doesn't have a great secondary. The strength of San Diego's pass defense is their strong pass rush which has only managed 5 sacks in the first two games. Unfortunately the Packers offensive line struggled against Philadelphia in pass protection, and their success against the NY Giants doesn't mean much since the Giants pass rush is one of the weakest in the league.

Many people are waiting for San Diego to bounce back, and a game against the overachieving Packers might seem like a good time for it. The key to this game will be whether the Packers can protect QB Brett Favre. If he isn't protected, there will be some turnovers that could give a much needed boost to a struggling San Diego offense, but if they have to go the length of the field for every scoring drive, their offense hasn't shown the ability to do that so far this season. If the Packers pass protection gives Favre enough time, then they should be able to control both sides of the ball.